Swimming Lesson #27

It’s funny how I’m not seeing a synergy between the different workouts I’ve been doing. Both climbing and swimming require a combination of strength and flexibility, just as running and swimming both reward cardiovascular fitness. Yet here I am, unsure if my arms are sore from laps of breaststroke or from pulling myself up a 10° overhang. At some point it must get easier, right?

Today we did just freestyle and breaststroke. With freestyle I’ve been turning too much. Possibly due to a misremembered, half-watched YouTube video about Total Immersion swimming, I’ve been trying to rotate my body around the axis from head to foot with every pull of my arms. Turns out that’s not optimal. When I’m moving my body to breathe, yes, I need to rotate, but much less with every other stroke. Or rather, 2 out of every 3 strokes, as I should be breathing less.

Also, I need to point my toes more and kick harder, but less. Trying to remember these different things, while being constantly reminded by my inability to breathe underwater that my left side is weaker than my right, was a bit of a struggle, but I did about 40 minutes back and forth in the pool.

For the last twenty minutes I took off my rash guard. In the past I’ve always worn it, but I’m now getting to the point where I’m exercising hard enough to overheat, especially in the lovely warm pool at Swish. Not wearing my shirt made things a bit easier, as I wasnt broiling myself any more. Then I went on to breaststroke.

Again, smaller tweaks. I can now do breaststroke for 20 metres without the wheels falling off completely, but my timing is a bit off. I do kick-glide-head up-breathe-head down-kick when the kick should be coming as my head goes back underwater. It’s not a big difference in timing, but when I got it right I seemed to flow a lot better.

Of course, as I did that, my kick went off, and the other problem is I’m not bringing my knees up close between kicks, so I’m not using my whole leg to kick, and so things are weaker than they could be. So I’d work on solving that, and then the timing would go out of whack…

Again, by the end of the session I could get from one end of the pool to the other in no more than 10 kicks, so on average that kick is getting more reliable, and more forceful. I just need to work on my flexibility and on my timing – the latter of which really suffers when I’m in the pool once every two weeks (and I’m travelling for work again next week so that’s another impediment to training). Still, there’s a lot of improvement, even if I am feeling like I’m falling apart right now.

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