Wednesday, 18 January 2012

It’s more than endurance and strength…


Last February I started taking swimming lessons. These lessons (5 in total) took me from a very basic recreational swimmer to a level where I could swim the front crawl for hours. I want to get faster and be more efficient so I decided to go back for what I thought would be a tweak. 

Last night I entered the endless pool for the 6th time.  Murray (a national swim coach) who hasn’t seen me for over 6 months, watched as I showed him my stroke.  I swam for about 30sec in the best way I knew how (I practiced for 15min before the lesson) and when I stood up to listen to his remarks (which I was hoping would be “very nice Carmen”) I heard,

“Oh,”… long pause… “I can fix that.”

Absolute Endurance endless pool

And so we began.  For an entire hour, we focused on little more than 2 things.  The finish and the entry of the stroke, which needs to happen at the exact same time (I didn’t know that).  Over and over again I tried, but it is hard to correct bad habits.  By the end of the hour, I was apparently getting it.  

Murray says that he is now teaching me the “high end, finessed” version of free style swimming. However, my stroke feels awkward, the rhythm is different. So, it’s back to the pool today, to practice the stoke and my catch. I feel better knowing that once I have this down, I shouldn’t feel like I need a nap after a long swim. Hopefully, I will feel like getting on a bike and riding for 180 kms.

I am starting to realize something as I train for the Iron.  This race will be difficult and I know I need strength and endurance – hence the 8 months of training.  But, what I also need, is polish and finesse.  Muddling my way through is not going to get me to the finish line. Efficiency is key. 

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