Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Interlude of bliss!

Well, I don't know how the whole business of bike-riding downtown on a freezing cold day in the middle of the winter is going to sit with me, but I think I can say in the meantime that my Chelsea Piers membership has brought BLISS INTO MY LIFE! I wrote my lecture first thing in the AM, then had a LOVELY INTERLUDE midday - rode my bike downtown (it's back into the mid-60s here), swam on my own for half an hour or so and then had an actually quite wonderful half-hour swim session with the assistant triathlon coach there.

It was quite different than what I'd do with JB - in fact it reminded me very strongly of Doug Stern's approach. It is a streamlining of approach that is well-suited to the triathlete's needs, doesn't focus so much on underlying principles and fundamentals but on a more down-and-dirty what's-wrong-with-the-stroke bit, plus drills and immediate video feedback!

The video is invaluable - it is unbelievable how straight my left arm is when I swim, and how little body rotation I have if I'm not paying attention. So I think it was an extremely useful session.

We did something like 100 swim, 4 x 50 right arm, left arm, 4 x 50 kick on side/1 stroke/kick on other side, 4 x 50 catch-up, 2 x 50 swim (cannot remember exact details), looking after each length at the video and then concentrating on mental cues (high elbow, good catch). Did a bit of dryland work with some cords on really getting the position of the forearm right so that you get a good catch and pull. My strengths: I am pretty relaxed in the water, decent body position, etc. Weaknesses: flat stroke, little rotation, very little kick. He recommends doing some kick sets with board, which I think is a very good idea, I like those and yet I rarely do them!

(Before that, I guess I swam 200-150-100-50 free to warm up and practice good flip turns - definitely if I let the breath out more slowly, I do not find myself with unpleasant empty-lung feeling as I surface, then 100 fly drill-swim, then 3 x 25 fly/75 free, then 50 back, 50 free.)

I get two more free sessions with this fellow as part of my membership package - we are going to do a run technique session next week and another swim one the week after!

1800 yards total, plus 9 miles bike


Wendy said...

Very, very good!

Video is key to truly understanding what you are actually doing. A coach can tell you, but it's Just Not The Same.

Glad to hear breath control is helping with your comfort level doing flip turns.

I'll be very interested to hear what the run session yields!

ShirleyPerly said...

I can't believe what I see when I see myself videotaped. An invaluable tool, I've found.

I can't believe you actually like kick sets, though. I think you're the first person I've heard say that!

Dances with Corgis said...

Let me ask you this- how are you liking the crowd/clientele at Chelsea? I toured it, and realized everyone was a tad more... "aggro" than me... hence I ended up at you know, the FAR more laid back asphalt green ;)

I have heard they have a CRAZY tri club based at Chelsea Piers, btw...

Danielle in Iowa said...

Gees, I'm self conscious on video when I am fully clothed, nevermind in a bathing suit! But I know it would be good for me to get it done...