Saturday, 23 May 2015

Day #55, Week #8: Swim Day

A VIDEO of my front crawl stroke filmed at the Torrevieja Sports City indoor Olympic size pool earlier today.

Practically all of my swim training has been in open water, so I experienced a very different sensation from swimming in a pool. I struggled to find rhythm in the pool and my stroke did not feel as efficient as when swimming in the sea. This maybe due to the aided buoyancy of a wet suit, plus I have been training with paddles which aids pull. Legs sink faster in a pool.

What I see viewing the video is that I am over rotating, this is causing me to loose balance and consequently my leg action is uncoordinated and I'm kicking way to hard. Also, my head is coming up and out of the water too high to take a breath. After swimming 50 metres I was knackered... and no wonder, the stroke looks very inefficient.

On the plus side, as I am aiming for a smooth catch up stroke, the tempo feels OK, but could be a little quicker. There is obviously still work to do... and no, that's not me in the photo.

Watch video >>>

Post script: comments on Facebook

Dave Knight, Triathlon Coach  "There is quite a bit of stuff going on here. The main things is where to start really (no offence wink emoticon). For me you need to look at (in order): 1. Stroke rate and stroke timing (very slow with catch-up and pauses). 2. Breathing, head and body position (unilateral breathing, high head/low legs) 3. Kick (kicking too deep and from the knee). Once these have been looked at for a while it will set you up for a better catch/pull and at that point you can look to tune up your propulsion."

Glen McArthur "I think that you are making hard work of what should be a relaxed stroke. You've mentioned the over rotation and that is evident. You breath very high out of the water which in turn is exaggerating the arm lift. Try reducing the head left/turn out of the water. Have you tried bi lateral breathing, i.e. both sides?? If you aim to 'touch' the end of the pool on each part of the reach phase, then this will make your stroke longer, more effective and encourage better body position. If you can isolate the legs during training with a pool buoy, you can focus on the top half."

Ferdinand Mulder, Triathlon Coach "First problem is your cross over with your left arm and your breathing. By breathing to the right you have to only rotate your neck not your upper body, that's why you cross over."

John Wood, Triathlon Coach "First and foremost, get your core involved and get your legs straight. At the moment your back is bowed, everything comes from the shoulders and the knee bend is dragging your legs lower and lower in the water. All other things are superfluous because that will give you a foundation. It means you will create less resistance and equally all your propulsion will push you forward rather than up.

James Flack, Triathlete "A lot of good advice on here already especially about head movement - try to keep your head in the water rather than lifting to breathe. When you breathe, try to rotate your body from head to foot and this will allow you to breathe without lifting your head up so far - keep one of your eyes under water, even if you ship a bit of water while you try to get this right. By rotating your body all the way you can keep your feet together while kicking which will create better propulsion for the rest of the stroke. You also need to think about your arm movements to aid your breathing and pulling."

Phil Jarvis, Triathlon Coach "Sort your head position out first - you are lifting your head so far out of the water to breathe that its causing your legs to sink, hence your legs are having to work far harder than they should. Look to join a masters swim club with a Coach, this will help you greatly as you should get technique sessions as part of the weekly training and will be able to train (under duress to start with) with other swimmers to get your technique and fitness together."

Muchas gracia to the guys who took time to view the video and comment with advise.

Straight after this I went out and purchased an Orca pull buoy and a Speedo Elite kickboard and got to work. I found the pull buoy especially usefully and it is now my new best friend.