Loads of time today, and a deserted pool for a change from last week. I attempted another repeat of “that Swimfit session” and whilst my swimming actually felt better, I was still no faster.
I spent some time trying to slow my backstroke kick down without compromising speed (or rather, without making myself even slower than I already am). It’s tricky, but I definitely expend far less energy and don’t get so out of breath when I get it right. I probably need more arm speed, but one thing at a time 🙂
In my breaststroke I’m trying to concentrate on getting my hips up to improve my streamline, but today that was possibly at the expense of keeping my elbows high in the pull. I’ll need to think about that next time too. I think I also tend to go at the stroke too fast, not because I’m trying to sprint, but because my body seems to naturally fall into quite a fast stroke rate (compared to my front crawl and backstroke, at least). Trying to spend a little more time in the streamline might be helpful.
With my front crawl I experimented with my breathing. Normally I tend to hold my breath until the first pull after my face goes back into the water. I’ve no idea why I do this. It just sort of happened. I do a similar thing in breaststroke actually, holding my breath until the start of the pull and then exhaling through it. Today on front crawl I tried to begin exhaling immediately my face turned back into the water. I’m not sure how this helps, but it seemed to help something, possibly allowing me to maintain a higher stroke rate.
There are other oddities with my strokes too, some of which need work. Swimming front crawl my eyes often become unfocused beyond being aware of the lane line so it’s almost as if I have no visual input other than that at all and I’ve never really thought of it as a problem. In breaststroke however, it seems I close my eyes completely when my head is under the water which does make a slightly more tricky job of swimming in a straight line. I need to get that sorted.
I have to admit that I’m getting a little bored of this session despite the fact that I know all my strokes have improved since I’ve been doing it. Half of me wants to move on and the other half wants to keep doing it because the practice is clearly a benefit to my swimming and probably my coaching too.
After the session I made up the distance to 2,500m with front crawl.
Total distance for the month: 15,100m
Total distance for this year: 162,500m
Distance compared to annual target: 19,500m under