Saturday, January 24, 2009

Coach Greg, in the pool

Rather than a regular swim, I met Greg at Glenmore pool. Nice facility, maybe I'm going to need to come up with a nickname for it if I'm going to swim there more often. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Friday was a rest day, and a good thing too. My legs were still tired, and during dinner with friends my calves where really feeling grumpy. They are still sore this morning. My work life is going through some changes that I'll talk about once I get some more details, but I ended up working at home on the computer for a bunch of hours Friday afternoon. This room is cool at the best of times. I let myself get chilled, and that's never good for helping muscles relax. Have I mentioned Calgary is back in the deep freeze and it's somewhere between -20 and -30 C?

Greg suggested we get together to look at my swim stroke. He sees me on the bike twice a week at spin class. We ran together last year to make sure there wasn't anything horrible about my stride, and we'll do it again, but the main goal is simply to build my running conditioning. There's a long way to go. I've swum a lot over the years, long before I thought about triathlon. We knew from my swim times that I didn't need to do anything for the water last year; I could coast on existing skills. Now the time has come to examine and improve the swimming skills to get a little bit faster, but more importantly, spend less energy per distance, so I'm fresher for the bike.

Glenmore is between us, and I haven't been there for many years. The facility is nice, although the pool water is a little on the warm side. The biggest downside is that they only have the half lockers and only a few of them let you put on your own lock. On Saturday the lane swim only lasts 1.5 hours, so I'd need to get their promptly. Other things being equal, I'd rather swim there than at Canyon Meadows.

We took over one of the fast lanes. I swam. He looked, and didn't laugh. "Not baaaad" he says. Still, there are some things to fix. There always is. The major thing is that my reach crosses the centre line of my body, my left arm does a bit of an S stroke, and I need to roll a bit more on my non breathing strokes. It could have been much worse. We worked through some sculling drills, and he showed me how the one arm drill is supposed to look. Spent lots of time on the technicality of the stroke, tweaking little things. He gave me a great idea on tracking stroke efficiency. I need to work on drills more, and intervals with perfect stroke, and forget about swim times. Maybe once a month do a straight out swim and record the time for 500, 1000, 1500 and 2000 m. Lots for me to think about.

We were in the pool for 1.25 hrs, but a good chunk of that was talking, and waving our arms about. I wonder what the other pool patrons thought? A couple times people looked like they were going to join us, but then saw us swooshing up and down, and they went elsewhere. I probably swam 1000 m at most, but was working harder because I was thinking about my stroke, and trying different things. I'm going to say .75 hr workout, and didn't do any core work in the dive tank. Maybe I'll do some yoga later today.

Their scale is in the reception area. It said 230, though I was carrying lots of fluid I should have got rid of first. Then again, I have no idea how that scale is calibrated compared to the one I usually use. So I have no idea if I'm really, actually the same weight or what. But I think my waist is getting smaller, since I'm pulling my belt past the first hole, but not quite to the second. All in all, I'm pretty pleased.


  1. I always trust the belt over the scale, congrats!

    That is great that you have someone taking the time to analyze your stroke and work with you to improve it. I'm sure you will start to see results in no time.

    Thanks for the suggestion about the leftover wine. Since I only ever open a can of soup or microwave a burger patty for dinner, that idea hadn't ocurred to me :).

  2. I agree with Katie - belts never lie. Sounds like you're getting in some quality workouts....that's the best.

    PS - your bike/wine pics. Are those really in your house? They were awesome!!!!!! Thanks for sending.


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