Monday, May 27, 2013

Now if I were only allowed to SWIM...

Ugh.  This 10-14 days of no swimming is KEEEEEELING me.

I am finally done with these ridiculous painkillers and the complete fog of passed-out-ness they put me in.  It's the last week of classes and I have about 1,356,894 projects coming in, so I need to be able to function!

Aside from Jumper's explanation of "the dickens" (Thanks, Jumper! :) and Kathy's suggestion of my elbow issue (thanks, too!) it was awfully quiet on that last post.  I'd like to pretend it's because I'm just that awesome and there's nothing to say, but I think it may be more that no one had time to read or comment.  And hey, I feel you!  But luckily for me, Coach Emily DID have time to tell me what I need to work on, and in case you don't know, she's kind of a big deal.  Like, swam at the University of Michigan big deal. (This is where Matt would say, "Go Blue!" and I would reply, "Go Bucks!") Or Olympic-Trials big deal.  And of course, pro-triathlete big deal.  So I take her comments VERY seriously.

Here's what I already knew:  I am only finishing half my stroke--especially at race pace.  I get tired/lazy and just figure "eh, halfway's good enough" and take my arm out without pulling all the way back.  I've been practicing following through the entire stroke and already can tell a BIG difference in my efficiency.

On top of that, Emily told me that I am entering the water at 12:00 and really that should be 11:00 and 1:00.  Because if you notice on my video, once in the water my hands move there anyway.  Wasted movement = inefficient stroke.  The other thing is that my elbow does, in fact, suck.  She pointed me to this video which does a pretty awesome job of explaining my problem:
And then these two that are of some *kind of* good swimmers showing what I'm really going for.  Oh, and my kick stinks, too, but I knew that.  These guys show how to keep that kid where it should be. Sigh.  What I really want to do is go back in time to 1983 and tell the people teaching me how to swim that THE STUPID "S" STROKE IS NOT THE RIGHT WAY TO DO IT so please STOP TELLING THE SIX YEAR OLD TO DO THAT.  Totally not efficient at all.  Do you see Phelps or Thorpe making an S?  No?  But I am, right?  So clearly I am setting the right model...NOT.

Anyway, this is all fabulous stuff.  I really want to get in the pool and try it!  I've been trying it a lot in my kitchen but all that really does is get me really weird looks from Matt and the dog.

I told Emily that it's funny--I've been swimming almost as long as I've been walking, but I feel like I have the most to learn here!  It's truly a technique-driven sport.  I'm excited to at least get back in the pool and tinker with my stroke a bit.


Jumper 2.0 said...

Hey, do I get first post again? ;-)
You are awesome and what more is there to say?

Except, I always have an opinion so here you go.

Anyway, I didn't comment about the suckage of your stitches and bronchitis because sometimes when I'm typing it just doesn't feel real. I mean it feels real to me, but it doesn't feel like its coming across as real. I felt for you, know you're going to be just fine, know that it's just a little extra recovery for you and know, that even though you don't know me well, you would assume that I wish the best for you.

Anyhow, about your swim stroke, I love looking at many examples, sometimes the way that a person explains it makes more sense to you than the way another person explains it. I think it's our human nature. Running is another good example, I find that when I think about my stride the two most helpful mantra's are "feet landing right under me" and "hamstring contraction". That may be totally goofy to you and most, but it's what helps me. With that same idea, I have a video link here that really has helped me work on my swim form. It's not any better than other videos, it may not help you at all, but it "connected" with me and helped me understand what to do just a little better.

Good Luck

TriEric said...

sorry I missed your post about swim technique. The video was awesome.

High elbows is the biggest correction I see. From the side your hands swoop up where you have a curve from your hand to your shoulder. The fingertips should stay below the elbow so you are in the catch position earlier with the high elbow.

From the front view you have a good bend in the elbow but it could be higher. When you breath the arm drops completely down and you have no elbow bend.

Some people would also say to stay out front a little longer before the catch, maybe a second or two. Then your recovery arm is entering the water when you are pulling through. Front quadrant swimming is a big deal with some coaches.

Your race pace stroke has a better catch and higher elbow. A higher catch and stronger pull during your relaxed pace may actually lead to faster times.

Just my two cents.

Alili said...

Great videos...thanks for the reminder that I need to get in the water!

Carolina John said...

Indeed swimming still counts! Get in there. i've been out of the pool for too long as well.