A proper set

At lunchtime we had to returnees, Richard (‘Little Richard’) and Sally.

To celebrate, Lisa brought a rather silly set – 4k. I did what I could . .

(All free)

5x100m off 1m 50s

10x100m off 1m 45s

5x100m kick off 2m 30s

10x100m off 1m 40s

5x100m easy

I have missed some out – but what is left is enough for me.

It was good to work hard for a full hour. It makes a difference. There is not much chat.

It is difficult not to feel that I am getting old, but these are still times I would not have been able to get within 4/5 years ago. I have to feel relatively content.

Y catch up?

No, not ‘Why catch up?”, but ‘Y-catch up’

We tried a new drill this morning – Free style catch up, but with the hands no coming together, but going out in a Y shape before you. It remains a catch up in the sense that the lead hand awaits the entry of the other hand before the catch is taken and the stroke executed.

I much prefer it to the standard catch up, where the incoming hand touches the lead hand before that lead hand can begin the stroke. The standard one gets the hands wrong and with it, is in danger of allowing the rest f the body to be pulled out of line.

Three cheers for Jill, I will be trying it again.



First run

. . for a long while.

I did it this morning. Out with the very early morning. You could not call it dawn, because there was no visible sun, just its light.

Nor was it cold or not as cold as it might have been. And it wasn’t wet of windy. For a late November morning it was not too bad. Unfortunately, down in North Wales, there is not much to choose from if you want ‘flat’. Out of the farm, up the hill, up again and along to the first neighbour – a campsite. It is not much more than a mile away, but there and back is quite enough for a first time out.

I must record that my knee/shin was not difficult. No pain, and that despite being quite a bit heavier than I should be and was. I suppose this suggests that I should try again perhaps tomorrow, but if not then certainly Monday morning.

Wrong leg kicking – free-style

I learned to swim free-style as do most, largely by just taking things in as I went along.
Along came the web, and I began to analyse my stroke and get more technical. One of the things I learned was that the timing of the kick is important. This was not something I had (or have) ever been taught. I came across on one of those internet-thingy sites. It said that after learning to swim from the hips, as one arm enters the water, the same leg should give a major beat. I tried it and it worked. There is something almost miraculous about it.

Instead of having two engines, one at the back and one at the front, you become just one engine, and the whole is bigger than the sum of its parts.

Fine. In our lane we discuss these things, and I have tried to spread the word. I have been quite unsuccessful. People occasionally manage it, but not with any conviction.

This morning I came across an old link to Shinji Takeuchi‘s youtube videos. He really does swim with an amazing stroke. On checking, what struck me sharply was that he does things the other way around.  As the right arm goes in, the left leg kicks down. I must bow to his wisdom, and will try it.

I will let you know, but if anyone has any comments . .

That breathing thing . .

We all do it, don’t we. Coaches seem born with the belief that swimmers do not need to breathe. Swimmers seem born with the contrary belief – that air is best held on to for as long as possible being released only as late as is compatible with its immediate and full replacement with another quick gulp.

As usual, the swimmer is wrong. As usual also, that does not mean that coach has it just right.
As often, the nice people at SwimSmooth have a thought-through answer. See: http://www.swimsmooth.com/exhalation.html

I like what they write. I shall be trying out their recommended drills when an opportunity next arises. The big issue (for me) is that they do not say whether what is to be achieved is merely learning and internalising a different style of breathing, or whether it is about developing lung capacity – changing the muscle size etc. If it is the latter, it may prove more dificult.

A question – do freedivers use this?