Monday, October 18, 2010

A dull, technical swim post

Half an hour in the water today, but I think it was one of the highest quality swims in quite a while. Since IMC I've been trying to concentrate on my swim stroke. My theory is that if I spend some time now trying to make my stroke better, and train the muscles to do it consistently better, then I'll be swimming faster.

So far I haven't been particularly timing myself. I don't want to get into the game of trying to swim fast now, because I'll slide back into my old ways. So typically I'll warm up doing a mix of free and pull. Today I added in some kick with the fins I bought. These are the blue aquasphere ones with the leaf shape. They work pretty good, though they are a bit more floppy than the big fins the pool supplies.

After the warmup I'll usually do 100 m intervals. Again, not trying to be fast, but rather trying to work on some aspect of my stroke. Usually by the end I'm losing focus, so I'll stop and rewind what I was doing, then think about what I want to try. Again. Then have another go at it.

You all know the things your coach has told you to work on during swimming. Reach. Catch. Slide. Pull. Push. Return. Breathe. Head down. Chest down. Streamlined. Kick. (my kick really really sucks.) I'm also thinking about the flip turn, and trying to do them better as well. Lots of thinking, lots of concentration. It's surprisingly hard work. I'm barely noticing the other swimmers now.

One of the things I noticed today especially on the pull, is an actual glide. I'm assuming from this my body position is better. Now I'm trying to replicate that feeling during free. The major thing I'm working on is trying to feel the muscles in my back working instead of the my shoulder muscles. I'm trying to coordinate the roll with the pull so it all goes together. So far it seems like the effort needed to initiate the roll is detracting from the pull, not adding to it. If my lats have been working, it's an ongoing mystery to me.

It turns out we're allowed to take a video camera onto the pool deck, as long as we don't video anyone else, or the pool staff. I don't think any of the people I see at the pool actually read my blog, so I'll have to see if they're interested as I see them. If you're interested at showing up to Renfrew about 7 am or so and take turns with the camera, let me know. (A big hint to my out of town give lessons to the fish buddies who like cookies!) Mine isn't waterproof, so we'd only see from above.

Today I couldn't hang around the pool much as I had to be at the knee specialist for 8:30. He did a good history, and thoroughly articulated my legs. That made me a bit nervous since some of those motions usually end with pain. He says I've got good leg strength, and it's reasonably well balanced, though there is one small muscle that helps stabilize the kneecap that is being overpowered by the quads and IT band. However, the big issue is a small tear in my medial meniscus. It's not bad, most people wait till they can barely walk and then there's a major problem with healing. With mine he is suggesting several sessions of ART and chiro will do a lot to get the muscles calmed down. There are some exercises to do. I need to tweak the positioning of my bike cleats to turn my toes in just a bit. That might take some playing. He will sending me to see another doctor about getting some sugar injections. I'm not sure if this is like refined table sugar, or it's something else they call sugar. Supposedly it helps build some scar tissue around the torn cartilage to help support it.

He is astonished that running doesn't cause pain, and that bike sometimes does. He wants to see my shoes so he can evaluate the wear. Going back through my blog it seems I've run for about 40 hours in these shoes since new in early Feb. They still feel pretty good to me, but what do I know? I'm guessing I've run somewhere around 300 K in them. More news as it happens.

1 comment:

  1. I keep meaning to get someone to video me swimming- it is so hard to know what you are doing wrong in terms of technique unless you can see yourself.
    Sorry- I can't make 7am swim times. The job thing gets in the way.

    Thanks for your comments about my 100th post! I laughed at some of them!! There is no way I could put a camera in my sports bra!! I would destroy it with sweat!! Glad to know I am not the only one who has worn IM brand clothing without completing one...


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