Saturday, March 10, 2012

Swimming technique baseline

This week was a bit hectic and I didn't get a chance to go swimming until today. The only place with a pool that I could use early in the day was one of the Goodlife gyms where I have a corporate membership, but unfortunately it has a tiny 10m pool where you get to do a hundred of laps to bank in a 1km workout. Better than nothing, especially since it was empty, all for ME, ME, ME! I could go in zig zags and circles if I wanted to, so that was on the upside. My coach gave me a few drills to work the Total Immersion technique, all with funky names like skate, under-skate, zipper-skate - well, I did a few hundreds of those, then 500m freestyle and at the end I asked my hubbs to take a video of me so that my coach can critique me. Feel free to let me know what I do wrong as well, I am here to learn. This was only the third time that I was trying this technique, so I know I need much improvement.

What I think I need to improve is the following:
-more relaxed and smaller arm movements. This is hard because I was taught to use my hands vigorously while swimming before and this is counter intuitive for my brain
-flipping my body on the side when I breathe. I think I rotate my body too much, but because of all the skating drills where you get to breathe pretty much on your back, it's not easy to find the sweet spot.
-continue working on the bilateral breathing
-more relaxed head position in the water. I know that I still lift my head up to breathe sometimes, so I need to become less stressed about not breathing long enough, efficient enough or swallowing water.

That's about it for today. I hope to be able to go and work all this in a "real" pool next time. At least 25m wouldn't be too much to ask, right? If only time permits, because the 25m pool only has the 9-10pm window open for adult swim. Quite a shame, we need more pools!


  1. Okay, things to work on... At sec 32 look at your legs! they are pointing to your right. They should follow directly behind you. Think about swimming through a hoop!At 34 sec your fingers should almost slightly touch the water, you are over rotating a bit. And one last thing your head comes out of the water a bit too much when you breath, one eye should still be in the waterand breath through the corner of your mouth. The more your head comes out of the water the more your legs drop and slow you down. Work on these things and then tape your self again next week.Dave.

    1. Dave, I only went back to the pool once since this swim and I think I was too tired after my 2h run and had a hard time keeping a good form, so I tried to focus on breathing instead. Found some great drills on the "Feel for the water" blog ( I also hope for a more "quiet" water in the pool to do all the skate drills. Not giving up, but taking it one swim at a time... Boy I need patience.

  2. Great article! Thanks for providing the videos, those really helped!

    1. Glad they helped, Vince. I found that YouTube is an awesome resource for all swimming instructional videos. Just pick your style! :-)