Sunday, November 18, 2007

Swim Free or Die Trying

Today I went to an awesome swim clinic...finally. I have been working on my swimming skills now for about a year, as it is part of the triathlon an unavoidable. I have managed to go from swimming 1 length of the pool and being out of breath to swimming back and forth, and back and forth until I decide I am done. However, I am by no means fast, but I am gonna be.

I learned fins are not my friend! I do not like wearing them. I drift to one side when doing drills without my arms and my toes curl out of habit and give me cramps.

We started with just kicks and rotation from side to side focusing on how the legs and trunk should rotate with each stroke almost 90 degrees and back, but the head should remain facing downward except when breathing. We then did 6 kicks on left with one stroke and 6 kicks on the right with a stroke and so forth. After floundering through that drill having my head out of position and forgetting to breathe we decided to advance to 6 kicks with 3 strokes each side (hahaha). I had think a lot more than I would have liked, but I did get in one or two good cycles. Finally got to stroke it out and put everything we just learned to the test. I can't say I was faster, but I did feel more efficient and smoother in the water.

The second half of our clinic was to grab a bite and something to drink and work on arms and tri specific swimming. We did a finger drag through the water, which I really liked. It was nice and relaxing. We also did 1-arm drills in which you breathe on the opposite side of the working arm. This is a scary sight. I lack the ability to breath on my left right now. Even when I stroked with the right arm I still breathed on the right. That drill is definately going to need lots of work. The last thing we covered was flip turns. I don't plan on doing any indoor tri's but "knowledge is power" - right? Well, first attemp to just flip I got water up my nose. SY said to blow out my nose on the flip to keep the water out and what do you know, It worked. Sweet!!! We then were instructed to swim at the cross on the wall and when we were about an arm's length away to flip and push off. This was in word UGLY. My timing was all off. I wasn't close enough to the wall and missed on a few flips and with no push off I did not make it to the surface so when I went to take a breath all I got was, yep you guessed it, water. At that point I decided to just swim a few easy laps, work on my form and call it a day. That plan worked much better for me. All in all had a great time and am very happy with the information I ganined and the people I met.

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