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Sunday, August 9, 2009

Lessons Learned in the Pool

I had a private swim lesson with our local tri club's swim coach. I was just hoping to get some last minute advice on my stroke, a few things I could brush up on in the closing weeks of training.

He noticed a few things right away. Some of them I was aware of, some I wasn't.
  • Breathing - bilateral wasn't working for me. This was a bit of a surprise, I was always told to do bilateral. However I found myself out of breath now and then, so I would cheat and breath on every stroke now and then. My coach pointed out that this break in rhythm was consuming my thought process, and being deprived of oxygen even a little was a bad thing. He told me to pick a side and breathe every stroke for now, until I improve alot, then go back to it someday.
  • Breathing late - I'm still not sure exactly what I'm doing wrong here, but I start my breath too late in my stroke. I think it's because I'm relying on the pull to rotate my body, which is wrong. Need to figure this out.
  • Looking up - I try to look down, honest, but I keep raising my head just a little... and this throws everything off enough to slow me down. Look straight down, then look across the water when it's time to breath.
  • Pull straight back - I was keeping my wrist locked, so at the end of the stroke I would actually be pushing the water up instead of back. This is wasted energy that is doing nothing to propel me forward - instead the hand should be kept perpendicular to the water
  • Slap the water with my feet - every so often, do a kick that tests where the water level really is. This is a tool to help make sure your feet aren't sinking.
That's it for now - I'm sure there are other things I need to learn but it was a lot to take in during one lesson! I'll have another session with him in a week or so to go through it again and hopefully identify any other issues.

Fast swimming, here I come!

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