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