Monday, December 19, 2011

i swim like a crab

now you all know that i love swimming.  loving something is not going to guarantee that you are going to be good at it.  swimming gets a bad wrap from triathletes and i cannot understand the endless whingeing because one of the reasons i love swimming is that it is not easy.  isnt this what triathletes are attracted to ?  it is hard and so you really have to work at it.  especially if you are not naturally gifted.  i think it is a challenge to be good at something that does not come easily.  like every aussie kid i learnt to swim at school and during the holidays but i dont recall good technique being the focus.  i never learnt to breathe correctly and when i did i spent years only breathing to my left.  i remember the day i finally started to breathe bilateral.   it was at this point that my technique should have been clearly evaluated because since then i have only reinforced bad technique.  

about two years ago i did the video swim analysis with paul at swim smooth.  the main issues then were the cross over with my left arm, putting the brakes on at the front end of the stroke, improving my catch and rotation and increasing my stroke rate.  sadly while i have improved my stroke rate and rotation and i did work with the paddles to correct the cross over i really havent made the big gains i should have.  too much focus was put on training for fitness and endurance.  however the positive is that the saturday swim smooth  sessions have made me so much more confident in the water and around people.  getting a leg, arm or whatever in the face is not an issue and it has taught me how to draft and how to think tactics.  i have to mention here that these sessions are golden.  i mean where else do back of the pack age groupers get to swim with a group that includes ironman winners and pros.  paul said that he always waits until everyone has rocked up to the session before he puts it together because what may work for one group will not always work for another.  this is what makes the session that much better.

so i went back this saturday for another analysis session with paul and it was excellent.  i love the feel of swimming.  i feel like i swim well and that is why video analysis is so good.  because how it feels and how it looks is not the same.   i struggled with the no iron thing and lack of air for the initial swim but the drills were okay as i used fins and the pool buoy.  it was amazing because the drills clearly demonstrate how it should feel compared to what you were doing.  especially the one arm or unco drill and my rogue left arm.  what i thought was straight was clearly not and i got to feel where the arm should be entering the water and it is so much further to the left.  the drills paul gave me will now be a part of every swim session.  i feel i have wasted the time between the video analysis sessions and so i will not let this happen again.  i have a renewed motivation.  i no longer want to swim like a crab. 

this time paul recorded the analysis session.  this is a fantastic tool.  it is long but extremely interesting and please just ignore my chipmunk voice.  i cannot recommend this process highly enough and paul is really just extremely good, knowledgable and a nice guy to boot.  did i mention he swam the english channel this year !   it is long but has some excellent footage and some surprise inclusions.



Wow i can't wait to watch the video! A year ago i hurt my shoulder from bad technique and just doing the fitness thing and overusing the same bad stroke technique etc. I had always done drills but never really got it - well a little bit - those moments of brilliance but then I didn't quite understand how to replicate...Anyhow thanks for sharing. W.

jenez_world said...

i totally recommend getting video analysis. how you think you swim and how you actually swim are not always the same and alot of people spend alot of time repeating bad technique. me included !


A good swimmer held his breath and watched me swim underwater - (what i had to adjust, everyone is different) - I just had to stretch a bit at the completion of my recover, i was a bit cramped and cutting it short, and to loosen my ankles and relax kicking... Then it all clicked, all the drills have paid off, I knew what to do... Your swim video encouraged me to revist...thanks!