A few hours after my bike ride this morning I headed to Augustana College for the next session of swim clinic coach by the Tenacious Tri of Tara, Stacey, and Lisa. I needed this clinic big time. I have felt off in my workouts lately and it is always good to hear from someone else what I am doing wrong.
I have noted in some previous swim reflections that my swim just felt out of sorts. I have noticed my stroke count higher than normal sitting around 15-16. I know that I should be around 14. Swimming today during the drills I was reminded(Thanks Tara) about some key things to focus on
- Reaching on stroke. This will allow me to reduce my strokes and help my body rotate
-Bending at the knees on my kick
-Quit being flat while swimming
These three things have been pretty consistent in my areas of swimming weakness. I honestly thought my kick was better. At least it felt better, but today I realized it wasn't. This is good. I need to know these things. I know the coaches sometimes feel bad about always telling what we are doing wrong, but I love it. I need to know because I don't feel or recognize these errors. I know when I get tired my reach fails miserably. Working during the clinic I felt like I was getting back to where I need to. This also gives me some great guidance to focus on during my workouts. I missed the last clinic and that one month off killed me fundamentally. I am glad I was able to make it today and glad that Tara was there to set me straight.
I warmed up with 250 of freestyle. We then did 5 drill sets so that added another 250. Next up was a main set of 4 x 100 with 15 second rest so about every 1:45. The goal was to hit/touch the feet of the person in front to mimic race conditions. This was good practice because this swimming atmosphere sent my heart racing. Being surrounded by bubbles and reduced vision is something I need to work on. By the third set I was dead. I sat out part of the last set because my body hit a wall. The early bike ride and this set did me in. I knew there was no way I could continue. If so, I would have either cramped majorly over my whole body or barfed. Neither one was needed on this Sunday so I took a breather and jumped in for the last 50.
We then did rotations. First was to swim to the other end and do 10 pool pushups. This was tough. We had to do this twice, then rotate to the next station which was 4 x 25 swimming Tarzan style(head above water) trying to keep a ball between arms. I struggled big time because I was so focused on the ball that I forgot to keep kicking. Last, we had to swim down and when we sighted the flag stand up and spring to the wall in the water. This was a good rotation series.
Next up I tried to dry as best I could to get my wetsuit on. They were nice enough to allow us to stick around for a little bit to practice some more. I decided to test my suit. It took me about 15 minutes to get the darn thing on. It is just not an easy process. I did nick my suit down by the calf of my one leg. I was assured that this was okay and would not hurt anything. I was mad for doing that, but I think it is inevitable. I finally got it on and tested the suit out.
It was amazing! I felt like I was flying through the water. I was right on top of the water just cruising. It was amazing. I don't know how else to describe it. I swam 4 x 50. The first was in 30 seconds and the next three sets were under 30 right around 28-29 seconds. I could not believe it.
The wetsuit just won me over. Now I just need to open swim and get some practice in open water with it on. Things are getting better and back on track for sure.
I ended up with 1250 of swimming. I ended this week with some good quality training. This week I need to make a decision. It is a recovery week, but I am not sure if I should take it or just bump it back two weeks for when I leave for Florida for International Robotics Competition. I will see how I feel later today and make a decision.