Sunday, January 13, 2008

Swim clinic! (updated...)

Well, if you had told me a year ago I'd be posting a picture on my blog of myself in a bathing suit, I would have been very dubious--but anything in the aid of triaspirationalism!


It has just been a super-illuminating and enjoyable day, really fascinating...

We went to the Swimming Technology Research clinic and it was rather fabulously good--the funniest parts were when the real live swim guru (he cited his teacher "Doc" Counsilmann, my favorite!--and it must also be noted that a fellow in the next lane commented upon his resemblance to Clint Eastwood--"that fellow in the westerns"--but I would have said Nick Nolte...) very solemnly talked about why it is better to learn from looking at MONA than from a Human Swimmer, even an Olympian--but the drills in the pool were excellent, and the combination of video and data analysis really useful.

(I've got the disk, I'm going to ponder it... I think I can't be bothered right now to upload the file and paste an image or two onto the blog, maybe I'll save that for some day when I can't swim and need something mildly interesting and swimming-related to blog about here!)

The main things I learned I knew already, but it is remarkably effectual to hear and see them so effectively confirmed from the outside--it gives me a very clear sense of what to work on.

First of all, and this has been true every time I've seen even a tiny little non-underwater clip of myself swimming, my arm entry is absurdly far outside my shoulders, this is incredibly inefficient!

(But in other respects I can see a great deal of improvement since the last freestyle video I looked at, maybe in June--my body position and rotation is definitely better.)

Second of all, and as a consequence of the first thing, I think I'm correct in my intuition that I am more urgently in need of a technique breakthrough than improved conditioning. I often have the feeling that based on my current level of strength and conditioning, and on the amount of time each week I spend swimming, I should be able to swim considerably faster than I do at the same effort levels.

(Maybe a better way to describe it is that I swim at perfectly reasonable speeds, given that I'm quite new to the sport, but with considerably higher effort levels than the more experienced swimmers around me--I am pretty strong, my aerobic conditioning both swimming-specific and non-is quite good, I am capable of working very hard, but really I'm working excessively hard to make up for weaknesses in technique. Which sort of describes my approach to life more generally, I always think that dumping huge amounts of excess energy and work into a situation will make things better, it often does but it is a spendthrift approach, it would serve me well to become more parsimonious!)

So this is the one big technique thing to work on. I should have a couple lessons with I. once she's back teaching again (or with Jim Bolster in the meantime, I bet he could fit me in for a couple later this month) where I just concentrate on freestyle stuff again--it wasn't bad that I spent all my lesson time working on the other strokes, I made considerable progress with those, but now it's time to start really paying attention to freestyle technique. I can't say I am convinced it is going to come in the next month or two, but I do feel that perhaps over the next four or five months I will finally make some technique stuff happen that should make me able to swim quite a lot faster...

And now--pictures!

Hands up!

The technology...
And finally, the view from the condo balcony--quite lovely...

(Updated to reflect appropriate photo credit--all pictures courtesy of Brent--because I am far too lazy to take any myself! He also points out that the balcony one may not reflect the current state of the foliage...)


Wendy said...

Parsimonius triaspirationality!

(Hands up, baby, hands up ...)

In fact, most of us are looking for technique breakthroughs! This will continue throughout your swimming career. :-)

So glad it was a good day!

Becca said...

You look great in a bathing suit, though I must say the wires look a bit frightening.

Jenny Davidson said...

The wires are of course the reason for the picture, are they not delightfully terminatorish/cyborgy?!?