Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Hooray For A Great Pool Session!

Finally a great session in the pool.  Seems like lately for a variety of reasons such as:

-general exhaustion from trying to cram too much work and training into the same day
-too much stress from giant nasty huge work projects
-bad unfocused mental days
-trying to do too much at once instead of properly focusing on piece at a time
-too many rugrats in the hotel pool swimming across the short length of the pool creating an obstacle course to swim through

I've had some pretty bad or un-noteworthy pool workouts.  They have been ok, and have all served a purpose.  But I've left many of them feeling pretty lackluster and not feeling like I made a lot of progress.  I read on BT (http://www.beginnertraithlete.com/) the other day something about how frustrating swimming can be and how it can just plain suck until you figure out how to make it suck less. 

Today I had a great session with my coach that helped me figure out how to make it suck less.

Today we took my one armed stroke drill that was all done on the same side and tweaked it and tuned it and then worked on doing laps with two strokes on each arm and then switching.  So it was all still a one armed stroke drill but I was switching arms every two strokes and (heres the good bit!) breathing bilaterraly on each stroke!  Why breathe on every stroke?  Because when your only stroking with one arms and focusing on really extending that arm when it reenters the water theres a long delay between breaths and I like to breath a lot.

So we worked on that for thirty minutes and then I did 50 meter repeats of that drill for the 30 minutes.  In the end I think I managed somewhere between 6-10 x 50 meter repeats with rest periods of 10-20 seconds between them.  By the end of the hour I was exhausted and my form suffered a bit so I called it quits.  Tomorrow morning I'm going to hit the pool and see if I can knock off 18x50meter repeats (a half mile!).  Thats my goal.  But I'm not going to be upset if I come up a bit short as I'll be pretty tired after the TT/Brick tonight I'm sure.

The other thing we worked on was getting my head position right for breathing.  I'm lifting it too much and I need to keep it lower.  For the first time today I experienced breathing behind the "bow wave" a little bit.  I need to get a lot better at it but that will come with time.  When I managed to pull it off and relax my kick I felt way less tired in the water.  I need to keep trying to do just that.  Stay less tired, relaxed, smooth, and efficient.

For the first time today I really felt like a complete decent freestyle stroke is within reach.  I'm even considering joining up with an open water swim this weekend.  Not so much to swim the distance, but to just run some drills in a wetsuit in the open water close to shore and see what that feels like.  Not sure if its too early or if thats a good idea yet.  I need to think on that one.  And if anyone is reading this I'll gladly entertain opinions on the matter.

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