Monday, July 25, 2011

Swimming

The more I start thinking about this sprint triathlon, the more I realize I'm going to have to step outside of my comfort zone.  I've always had a pool in my backyard and have considered myself a fairly decent swimmer, except when I was younger.

When I was about 6-years-old, I started taking swim lessons.  I spent that entire summer sitting on my coach's pool steps, slowly lowering my face into the water.  I had progressed from putting my chin under the water to putting my nose under the water throughout the course of the summer.  I don't know why I was so afraid to put my head under water (especially since I own a pool), or why my parents didn't just tell me to close my eyes and my nose and then dunk my head underwater so they wouldn't waste an entire summer's worth of swim lessons.  I obviously somehow got over my fear of putting my head underwater, and I spent the next few summers learning how to do different strokes, dive (that was another doozy), and even do a wall flip.

Those lessons lasted for about 4 years, and since then I've spent my swimming days doggy-paddling around the pool.  The doggy-paddle isn't going to cut it if I want to do this sprint triathlon, so I bought a pair of goggles and hit the pool.

I looked up the race online and learned I would only need to complete 15 laps (with 1 lap being down and back) in my pool since the swim part of the race is only 300m.  I don't even have to do a wall flip because they're not allowed!  So I dove in and took off, with my coach alongside keeping me at my paces.

video

Sometimes, especially when your dog can't really give you tips, it helps to have a video of what you look like when swimming, running, etc in order to fix some flaws in your form.  For example, in this video, the first thing I noticed was that I need to keep my feet underneath the water and not splash around so much.  I also really need to work on taking breaths every 3 strokes instead of 2.  Most importantly, I just need to relax while in the water, that way I don't expend more energy than I need to and I won't be gulping for air every time I turn my head.

So I guess my next step will be to keep working on my form, just like I did when I began running.  Any advice will be greatly appreciated!  Shadow doesn't have much to say.

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