Just keep swimming

Friday, July 14, 2017

This week was the last of my complimentary swim lessons with Swimming Nature.  I am sad to see them end, not only because it was nice to have a refreshing dip on some the hottest days so far this year, but also the one-to-one tuition has been invaluable.  Much like having a personal trainer, I could tailor the lessons to what I wanted to work on, taking more or less time on specific skills I wanted to perfect.  Swimming efficiently comes down to good technique and that is what I needed to work on.  Sure, I can get around a pool or open water lake but I knew I wasn't conserving energy at all.  In a triathlon, it is about finishing as fast as you can, right?   More and more, it is looking like I need to go back to triathlons due to everlasting injury, so I am very happy that I have some drills to practice with and several pointers to consider with each stroke.

When I started my lessons, I wanted to improve my front crawl to make it more efficient.  In our last lesson, I swam laps am giving me one point to work on - kicking more, longer glides, bringing my ear to my shoulder when I breath, having left hand enter water rather than left forearm.  Feedback from my coach, Sam, after my lessons over the last four weeks:

  • Kicking is improving
  • Don't rush
  • Need to work on developing more stretch/reach on both sides
  • Also remember to bring ear to shoulder when breathing

He also noticed my timing is different on my left and right sides, possibly due to where my left forearm enters the water.  He videoed me lap during this last session to show me what I was doing differently on each side.  This was really helpful for me.

Swimming Nature provides one to one tuition all over the United Kingdom, as well as group sessions.  I found a location that was near work so I could swim before going home for the evening. Lessons are open to all ages and for any reason- triathlons, new challenge, need a low impact sport due to previous injury or health.  Kids programs involve regular time trials and a medal at the end of term, which is pretty cool.

I asked Sam for some tips on how to make the most of  your investment in 1-2-1 swim lessons:

  • The more work you put in outside the lesson, the more you will benefit.
  • Have patience.  You will not perfect a new stroke in just a few lessons.
  • Drills are mean to be done slow.
Unfortunately, I only managed one swim session a week outside of my lessons, but I wish I had done more. I really have no excuse because I live near the Olympic Park and the Aquatics Centre is pretty fab.  The 50m pool nearly killed me though, it is so much farther than what I am used to!  I am confident I will stick with my weekly swims though, using the drills Sam gave me, to keep up my aerobic base and continue to develop muscle memory.  If I do end up switching back to triathlons, I will purchase a set of lessons to help me save energy for the bike and run.

Thanks again to Swimming Nature for the complimentary set of lesson and Sam for his patience.  All opinions are honest and my own.

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