Monday, April 26, 2010

A Swimming Lesson

The last time my swim was looked at was one year ago in Subic Bay. So I figure one year on, lesson #2, sounds about right. I know many of you have tried to help me in my swim and even offered to pay for a coach for me. I really appreciate these kind offers, but it is not that I am stubborn and think do not need help. Gawd knows we all know I need help! It is just that I have to listen and believe in one person and one person alone. So with that I have carried on for one year with my swim coaching like my bike and run through email.
I need simplicity in my training and Brett's methods and style are aligned perfectly with my needs. No science, no stress (well almost).
I kind of know my problem. As I say it's not scientific and not focused on technique. My problem is my head. I panic breathe. One year ago I was told to increase my cadence (arm turnover) and I shall go faster. Well through much pain I have. Now I can turn my arms and they don't get tired. But I was not going any quicker. Why?
I breath on every stroke. I do not extend properly each time. This equals fast short strokes and even faster more rapid breathing which serves only to build up lactic, panic me, and not allow enough time to get full clean oxygen or expel the oxygen. Basically and this is what it feels like, is that I am breathing with half capacity.
SO, now I am learning to breathe every four strokes, get the lungs stronger and not worry about the short strokes and keep the fast cadence. Apparently Becky Preston (teamTBB pro and known for her 2 IM titles in space of 2weeks) also breathes every 4. She also has a very short stroke. It's don't look pretty but who can argue with those results!
Also I learnt that taking 72 strokes in a 50metre pool (I don't take that many, but it's more than average I guess) is not a bad thing. 72strokes is the number of strokes taken by a world class swimmer Brett used to coach. SO. Work with what works and keep it simple. Triathletes are not swimmers as we are constantly reminded. We just need to be SWIM FIT to get through the washing machine and out the other end.
Flotation. I have a new pool buoy called BOB. Formerly know as Herman, Bob is a 'hand-me-down' from pal Jocelyn. It seems Jocelyn no longer requires the doughnut and Herman...she is on another program. And so a knock on my door when packing and she kindly presented me with BOB. Thank YOU I hope it helps.
The doughnut. A tiny inner tube to put around my ankles. The idea is to create drag. Boy oh boy does it work. So now I go even slower but the doughnut is supposed to work to help me learn to maintain my position in the pool and force me to push the water out - if I do not push I do not move. I am also using paddles while doing this so the muscles are going to grow even bigger!!
The good news and there is some. These days I look forward to swimming. I am out of breath and pooped after each set by 4 stroke breathing but I know in a few months it will soon be no problem to breathe this way. (this is what I tell myself). If I can learn to turn the arms quicker I can learn to breathe every 4!
No more lessons until maybe after Kona. I have my plan. It is a very simple one. And I am going to be positive :D


Jense said...

I find it comforting to know that I can breathe on either side. So I do laps breathing every 3rd, 5th, 7th stroke to alternate the sides. Or do you do 4 stroke breathing on both sides?

Emma said... should know me by now. SIMPLE :) One side is enough for me to think about!! :D