We had our last swim clinic today.  I have missed about half of the clinics, and have made a ton of improvement since the last one I went to.  I couldn’t even swim half a length then, and my form was nonexistent.   Between getting sick, and not having arraignments to have someone watch the kids, I just couldn’t make many of them.

I was hoping that I could get some pointers from an expert today and see just what I needed to work on.  The night went really well.  The instructor said I was looking very good and only had a few suggestions.   I have been working on my wife’s swimming–I know it’s like the blind leading the blind–and I got the idea of having my wife watch the instructor do a lap so she could see where she needed to put her arms.  The instructor suggested that I get under the water and watch her swim by.  That was probably the best thing that she could have done for me.  Here is what I learned from tonight, and the things I need to work on in the coming weeks.

  1. I have been holding my head to low in the water, she suggested that the water come up to just over the forehead because it would be easier for me to breathe, she was right, as soon as I did that it made things much easier, now I just have to work on keeping my chest deeper in the water
  2. I have to rotate much more than I have been.  Watching her was an eye opener for me.  She rotates much more than I expected, in fact, even watching her from above I wasn’t able to see just how much body roll she was getting, her shoulders were almost completely stacked on each stroke.
  3. I have to coordinate the pull stroke so that I start the hard pull when my forearm and hand are straight up and down in the water.  As I pull that catch arm, I need to make a more complete rotation, and push my recovery arm in.  I did that a few times correctly and felt a much stronger thrust.
  4. Pool turns.  As I get better endurance I need to practice the turns.  She showed us how to grab the pool edge with our lead hand, then flip our legs to the wall while leaving our trailing hand stretched out and pointing in the opposite direction.  Then, with a push of our legs, the hand that was holding the wall comes back quickly to join the other hand and then a few dolphin kicks to get 5 or so yards out before coming up for the first stroke.  When that was going well I was getting 5 or more yards out of it, when it wasn’t going as smoothly I just kind of stalled in the water and went nowhere.  I need to practice that, but for now it is pointless since my endurance doesn’t let me complete even one lap without getting winded.

So, that’s that.  I have a lot of practice to build up endurance, but I really felt the best I have felt since starting to swim.  I have made a ton of progress, and so has my wife.  To think, just over a month ago I wrote the words “OK, I’m not sure the swim instructor got the memo that I DON”T KNOW HOW TO SWIM!!!”  In fact, today I got a few compliments, not only from the instructor, but from another clinic participant.   So, I guess no matter what happens, I am proud of what I have been able to do these last few weeks.  Time to prepare a new memo for the instructor, I can swim!!!

I plan on putting together a post in the coming days about the Total Immersion Easy Freestyle DVD, and the things I that I think really helped me figure this out.  But for now, practice practice, practice.  Don’t forget, I have my first triathlon on Sunday!  I’m really looking forward to it.  I hope I don’t conk out on the run, I have been a slacker in that department, but I think I can do 2 miles without too much trouble.  We’ll see.