Friday, October 07, 2016

Being Brave

It's pretty scary going back to basics.  It's pretty scary starting again.

I haven't swum since the seaside experience at Worthing (force 6 gales).  I was recently challenged to develop a positive attitude and write down 5 - 12 things to change this year.  I haven't done so yet but one of the things resolutely on the list is to improve my swimming.  It's a part of the time reduction plan and an area where I can make massive gains.  In theory, around 10 minutes but possibly only 6 would be required.

The worst aspect of my swimming, I believe, is my kick.  When I only kick, much of my propulsion is gone.  I find this surprising since I have strong legs but then much of the kick in swimming comes from the hips (and probably back / core) and I know these things to be weak in me.  I usually don't do kick drills because I am so bad at them it depresses me and I have, to date, seen little point in beating up something so inherently bad.

Still, my resolve is to improve this aspect of my race and since there's not much gain to be had in changing my stroke (and I find it incredibly difficult to turn over much faster or harder without losing finesse) I have to start looking at my kick.  All coaches have told me my stroke looks fine so there must be something not happening right.

Since my kick is so obviously ineffective, I figure we can make huge gains here.

So I resolved to do kick drills on a regular basis right through till next season.

I've been trying to swim all week so I ran out of time today and HAD to go swimming this morning.

I decided to only swim 30 minutes (not lap counting) because I forgot to put my lap counter on and I really forget to count, when left to my own devices.  There's far too much going on in my head.

I started swimming until I fatigued and looked at my watch, 7min 35s.  Perfect.  I can do 4 x 7:30s and make up 30 minutes.  I felt like I'd swum 10 - 14 laps.  So many that I couldn't have remembered to count them and not so many that I was swimming super-fast.  I did it again and the second time around stopped at 16:24 - improved endurance.  I swam again and clocked 26:00.  Brilliant. Getting better.

Time for kicks.

I grabbed a buoy and got in the slow lane.  Not even going to inconvenience the middle lane with this!

Off to a great start - assisted by the water jets from the shallow end.  Then slowed to nothing.  Old ladies swam by.

Only the gradual arrival of the steps persuaded me that I was actually making some progress then WHAM!  I was hit by the side-current from the opposite side of the pool and had to kick even harder just to swim in a straight line.  Still, I wobbled onwards and just about managed to steer myself in a semi-circle before doing some froggy-legs to manoeuvre myself in the opposite direction.

Off I went again, slowly waddling my way down the pool and fighting that side current again.  Once I reached the wall I had to put my feet down and walk to the edge.  There was no fighting those water jets.

I had to get my breath back before setting off again and repeating it all.  Pointy toes, wiggly legs, achey arms.

Back to the shallows and my watch was reading 31:46.  It took me 7 minutes to kick 4 lengths.



but my first baby steps to swimming improvement.

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