Thursday, February 12, 2015

54:45 but no fight. how to swim

This isn't a history lesson, and even if I'd been 5 seconds faster there still wouldn't be a history lesson. I see some blank looks. Google is your friend.

I'm on about swimming again today. Roll your eyes, I don't care. I'm a very happy puppy. The other day I did the fastest K in many many years. During yoga class I was thinking about that and what it meant for my longer swims. I was doing math in my head and ended up with this.

An 18:30 K was a fast swim a short while ago, but I was thinking I should try to maintain that pace. I've been wanting to get in a 3 K swim for a while, but it hasn't worked out for one reason or another. Here's how it turned out.

Distance Planned Actual 100 M pace
1K 18:30 18:25 01:50.50
2K 37 37:05 01:51.50
3K 54:30 54:45 01:51.50

So I'd say that was pretty consistent, though at the beginning of the 3rd K I blew a couple of flip turns and had a couple of poor laps. I lost my concentration doing some mental math about timing. Note to self.

What made the difference is keeping my elbows high and recovering with my thumb close to my ears. I tried to keep the kick a little stronger, which helps my body position in the water, which is the main reason I'm going faster with less effort.

And make no mistake, this was the least effortful swim in a long time. I was relaxed, barely breathing hard for most of it. The third K I worked it a bit to make up for the time I lost, but I was never even close to being short of breath. Most of the time I was gliding along, passing the people in the lanes beside me that were working much harder.

My hands were on top of their game, getting a good catch. My roll was coordinated with the pull in a way that I don't often have happen. I could feel my shoulders working in a way I hadn't noticed before, helping me stretch out before the catch. The only thing I missed was that I didn't count strokes at all, so I have no idea about that. I didn't have to worry about anybody else in the lane. This was short course, and it seemed like I was doing a flip turn all the time. It would be fun to try this in the long course pool.

Best of all, I didn't have to stop at 3 K. I could have kept going, but I thought this was a big enough step for one day. Plus, there is this day job thing. They don't really care when I get there, but I have lots of work to do, and a deadline next week. A lot of people are going to be looking at my results.

I can hear you asking, so how do I do this? Easy. Swim lots, thinking about every stroke, trying to make it perfect. Time every lap. Some swims are relaxed and longer. Others are shorter and faster. I think the CSS thing helped. Get a video of your stroke and someone that knows their stuff to critique it. Then apply what they say. Think about the water feel. Look at the bottom of the pool. Relax. Commune with your inner shark or dolphin. The water wants to be your friend.

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