With swimming, I’ve always felt like I’ve gone from a standing start, learning to swim aged 21, straight into trying to improve my times without really having a direction. I’ve watched endless videos and read lots of swim sets and half-heartedly done drills, but without somebody directly watching me swim, it’s pretty difficult to know what drills I need to do to target my weaknesses, and how to do them properly.
So we can work together on improving my swim, I went down to Tewkesbury at the weekend to the endless pool at Back in Action, to meet coach Chris, so that he could see how I swim in real time, see what’s holding my stroke back and get me doing the right drills, with feedback, to actually progress my stroke. No point in setting me long swim sets of speedwork if the technique isn’t there to be swimming efficiently!
After a while getting used to an endless pool (spoiler: you have to be able to swim straight and at the speed the pool is set to!) and an initial filming of my stroke, we got to work with the swim toys and I learned lots of kick drills to improve the weakest point in my stroke- and I also learned why which is half the battle in making me do drills!
We spent ages unpicking why the kick is so important, and learning how to properly do the drills to improve it, with fins as a training tool (which did leave me wanting to dance like a penguin on Planet Earth 2!). After a while, we took the fins off, and did some regular swimming again, and lo and behold, my kick had improved a fair bit and I looked better in the water.
That’s right, taking my rather bright new Funkita cossies to the pool, hiding from the lifeguard whilst I use my fins and kick, kick, kicking my way to a better swim stroke. No kick boards allowed (yay!). Then, once I’m swimming more efficiently, comes the longer sets and work on getting faster. Meep.
This post is the first in a series of swimming-related posts during my training for the Lakesman Triathlon, with support from Funkita.