It was truly and wondrously good - various other things going on in the pool at the same time, with JB intervening here and there, so that I felt that I was in a temple of swimming, with wisdom being transmitted very copiously throughout!
I do not understand how I can have made so much progress in an hour - I now FINALLY get the basic feel of the dolphin kick which has essentially eluded me for two years. And I hear with new ears Irina's old instruction "Kick yourself out of the water!," which I never could feel I properly understood, even though I rationally knew it was important...
Warmup: 5 x 100 as 75 swim, 25 stroke (flip turns!) (back, breast, fly, breast, back)
Demo lengths: 100 as free down, fly back with flip turns off the free
Some vertical dolphin kicking, with the suggestion of doing 5 x 45 seconds kick with arms at sides, 5 seconds with arms in air and 10 seconds rest, only it soon emerged that I did not have a good enough grasp on the essentials to make this happen. So I hauled myself out of the pool and JB had me lie on my side on the bench and just kind of moved my hips and legs around to show me how the movement really works (the thing I especially have not been able to get is that feel of the knees and feet really whipping forward on the second half of the kick as the hips go back). I got back in the water and made a much more successful set of attempts at the vertical kicking, to the point where I could very easily keep myself up out of the water. Interesting...
Then (along these lines, anyway - it was quite a lot!):
4 x dolphin kick on side (right down, left back), concentrating on movement of the hips (JB: "Did you ever hula-hoop when you were a kid?") and the forward flick of the legs. Tendency to let feet drift apart; concentration on keeping them together.
2 x dolphin kick on front with board
4 x dolphin kick on front with arms extended
4 x drill (right arm, left arm)
4 x full stroke
Back out of the water to work on not overexerting myself re: the arms; tendency to rotate palms upward in a way that doesn't take advantage of stronger muscles, so some work on feeling that little "hunch" of the shoulders and letting the arms fly back over on the recovery. I can see how it is related to the floppy high-elbow recovery in freestyle... [Ed. Added for clarity: the similarity is not so much to the actual recovery as to to the problem I have achieving the requisite relaxation - though the actions are quite different, in both cases I have a tendency to brace all my arm muscles and use more muscular effort than is needed/appropriate.]
2 x right arm, left arm, full stroke
2 x full stroke
NB the vertical kicking, and the kick on sides, are both good ways of "reminding" oneself of the correct feel if it has slipped back into the bad old version.
Anyway it was an absolutely fantastic lesson, my kick was transformed and the whole stroke was markedly and appealingly better by the end of the hour. (Hard work, too, especially after the core workout I did yesterday!) We'll have another session next week, to work some more on the whole stroke and to talk about some ideas for doing good workouts in the sea in August.
(1200 yards? I think I am undercounting, there were some bits where I kept myself occupied by doing some extra lengths of kick on sides, stomach, etc.)
Now I might have to go back to bed - I had an impossible night of insomnia last night, only finally got off into very light and fitful sleep around 5:15, so I think I only got about an hour and a half, ugh - it will be better if I can squeeze in a couple hours now than if I take a nap later in the day...