Swimming Lesson #41

Well, it’s been far too long, but finally I got back in the pool at Swish, a pool that now feels much too warm, which shows I’ve quickly grown accustomed to the regular temperature water at my friends’ place.

I may have been away for over a month, but recent frequency has clearly made a difference: swimming three times in the last four days rather than once every week has definitely led to me relaxing in the water more. I don’t feel like I went particularly fast today, but I didn’t end every lap panting with exhaustion and I even managed to do two and a half lengths – 50 metres – in one go. So that felt great.

We did a lot of drills today. A lot. Most of it was around trying to develop a more powerful, smoother stroke. So you’d pull hard with one arm, then keep it swept back and glide as long as you could before bringing it forward and pulling with the other arm. And remembering not to kick.

All well and good although I did find it hard to remember to breathe, and some of this messing about led to me floundering in the water, but by and large I trundled up and down the pool, not getting worn out half as much as I used to. I lost track of how many lengths I did in the hour, and then it was time to go home and dine on pizza. So that was a nice return.

My knee feels a lot better. I had a bit of pain at the end of my swim, and one twinge walking over from the bus stop, but otherwise it hasn’t had me suffering today. That’s a good sign, right?

4 responses to “Swimming Lesson #41”

  1. Is the goal to be more efficient or to be more relaxed? I do try not to let myself get uptight about being so slow. I’m not sure why you’re so tired after each lap, is that because you’re trying to push yourself?

    • Slow is smooth and smooth is fast. The first goal is to be able to be more relaxed, because that’s less tiring, and that then allows you to keep your form for longer, and that means you can train properly for longer, and eventually that leads to going faster.

      Eg when I start to tire, the first things that happen are that I kick more (which tires me out more) and I have to breathe every two strokes rather than every four, which also makes me tire faster, because it’s less efficient. The more relaxed I am, the longer I keep good form and avoid the downward spiral.

      Obviously I’d like to be faster, but I’m coming to realise that consistency is much more important, both in terms of training regularly, and being able to crank out more laps without having to stop. It’s no good killing yourself to do 20 metres in 30 seconds, if the recovery time is 2 minutes, vs being able to do 20 metres in 40 seconds and need no recovery.

      Now if I were racing, that wouldn’t exactly hold true, but I’m not (and I would expect I’d need to be twice as fast before that was a consideration)

      • Can you float easily? I have depressingly high amount of body fat (relatively) which I think is why I find it quite easy to float and therefore it’s easy to stay relaxed in the water as I don’t need to kick much to not drown. I just get slower and slower as I get more tired. Good thing I’m not racing :-))

        • Not that easily 🙁

          I timed myself and I can float on my back for about a minute (with occasional floundering) but my girls seem much more graceful when it comes to lying on their backs…

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