On Sunday I had my last appointment with my trainer, Chris, before triathlon day. We met at the pool to see how my swimming form has come along and to add some final tweaks and drills.
My form has improved quite a bit over the course of the last couple months. I’ve learned bilateral breathing, increased the efficiency of my stroke and developed more endurance and speed in the water.
It was particularly interesting and challenging yesterday to learn about rolling while you swim. This means that when your forward arm is reaching forward at its farthest extension, you should basically be swimming on your side with your head against your shoulder. This is the most hydrodynamic position to be in. Then of course you switch from side to side as you stroke. The roll is one of the most challenging techniques in swimming. I appreciate learning about it and will practice it to the extent that I can. I’m sure even just a little bit of a roll will make me more efficient. Though even good swimmers like my trainer struggle to master the technique.
After a great workout in the pool, we talked about the value of swimming when training for other sports. Chris, for example, is a marathoner. He often uses swimming as a recovery workout after a hard run. Swimming allows your body to get blood flowing to sore muscles without the impact of running or the stress of cycling. He also incorporates swimming into his training routine in a way that allows him to run fewer miles but still develop the fitness level of people who run twice as much.
For example, running one mile is roughly equivalent to swimming 400 meters and cycling 4 miles (I might be off on the cycling number, but it’s close) in terms of the effort that it takes to complete the work. So, instead of doing a 20 mile run, you can do a 2.5 mile swim and a 10 mile run and get much the same benefits without so much wear and tear on your body. Neat, huh?! I’ll have to remember that when I consider running a marathon next year.
Sunday, May 16, 2010
Swim 1600 yards (probably more but I lost count)
300 warmup, various drills, 150 cool down