Sunday, November 11, 2007

Saturday lesson

When I got home yesterday the internet was out of order, and I could not instantaneously blog my swimming lesson--deprivation!

A very good lesson. I now have independent confirmation that I can do real honest-to-God IM! Funny how that butterfly thing just fell into place this week, there is room of course for infinite further improvement but I really did just learn how to do it, and I think as long as I keep doing it I am not going to suddenly forget it now...

(I must see if we can work on turns a bit in one of these upcoming lessons. I am resolved to practice my flip turns for free, only somehow it is always easier to skip. Resolution: do all flip turns on warmup lengths, regardless of whether I feel like it or not. Revisit this policy after Xmas and see if I'm ready to start doing flip turns in the regular sets also.)

We worked mostly on butterfly and breast, with a little bit of back at the end. My breaststroke is fully functional but very flat (I think this is partly still a legacy, though I did not learn how to do breaststroke as a child, of the very flat swimming style of the 1970s, it took me a long time this winter to get a sense of the body rotation for freestyle), I will have to work on building in more undulation--after some unsuccessful attempts at approaching it from that side, I. and myself were in agreement that we must just work from the flat end of things and see how it goes. I was noticing very much this week at the morning workouts that when everyone else is doing a breast pull set they really are doing something dolphin-like with their bodies--but when I try to do this, either pulling or swimming, I kind of end up with some distortion of timing that stops me almost dead in the water, it is counterproductive.

But I really can swim butterfly now! Four things I. left me to think about (along with humorous apologies--from her to me, and from me to you--for the fact that the vocabulary is better-suited to ten-year-olds!): enter wide for good catch/pull; lightbulb/hourglass stroke; exit with short karate-chop; straight arms recover forward on puppet-strings led by pinkie. She says what she tells the ten-year-olds on the karate-chop exit is "WAVE your competitors goodbye" (with hands out behind...)... The other main thing to remember is the kick in being a lot stronger than the kick out--I think I was getting overenthusiastic on the latter...

No Monday swim this week--the John Jay pool is closed. So I should be able to go and have a quiet technique swim that night, then Tuesday and Thursday morning workouts, then Saturday lesson. That's enough, I think, for this week.

(Even though really in my heart of hearts what I want to do is maniacally swim two times a day until I really am a better swimmer. But I am slightly amazed by how much progress I've made in the last couple months. I did 160 IM to warm up yesterday--it is a 20-yard pool--and I. commented afterwards on the fact that I looked like a person who was swimming a lot--it is true...)

Once this half-marathon is over, I'm going to keep up the same kind of run mileage but slightly reshift priorities. Six weeks or so of more gym workouts with the trainer, keep up the swimming at current levels, and a bike focus. Because of holiday-type stuff I can't quite guarantee the thirty-in-thirty thing (I can't find a link for this, but the premise involves doing thirty workouts in thirty days in a single discipline of triathlon), but I am going to do twenty-one-in-twenty-one on the bike. Just take a very calm approach, and I think the weather has gone cold enough that I will do 'em all inside--set goals modest, so that half an hour on a stationary bike at the gym post-morning swim will count--have one long one in the week (preferably outside if it's not freezing), building up to two hours, 3 just 30-45-minute recovery rides, and three real little workouts with some kind of interval thing or technical thing to concentrate on like pedal stroke. This will be good...

1 comment:

Wendy said...

That's the ticket! Once you've got the basics of butterfly, keep at it!

It's very cool that you have the basics! Congratulations.