Thursday, April 27, 2006

The Swim

1000 yards. That sounds so much cooler than 20 minutes. Or the original 100 yard swims from the initial training days.

Then again, it sounds so short when considering the 2.4 miles in an Ironman swim.

This morning's swim was "new goggles" day. Fed up with the Barracuda goggles purchased at the outset of learning to swim properly, I purchased a pair of Tyr Racetech Reveal goggles. While the Barracuda goggles are supposed to be the slickest thing in the water, I was horribly disappointed with them. Perhaps it is operator error, but I was never able to get them to hold out water effectively. Every 100 yards or so, I would have an annoying amount of water in the eyepieces. They are also very prone to fog up.

In 1000 yards, the new goggles never leaked a bit. The didn't fog up. And they look cooler, too. At less than half the cost of the Barracuda goggles, these seem to be a much better purchase.

I also purchased a swim cap. Nice bright green and blue to give lifeguards a good visual in the triathlon. I want them to have a highly visible target in the event I need their help. Next week, I'll try wearing it, as it is something new.

Today's swim went quite well. Though mostly zipperswitch drills, I did 100 yards of sweet spot drills, and 100 yards of zipperskate. I'm trying to further develop my balance. I need to make the transition to full overhand strokes, and figure out how to add rhythmic breathing. Better balance should help, there.

Getting the breathing down may be the most challenging part of this whole process. I feel pretty comfortable in the face down, swimming position. I feel comfortable going to sweet spot and taking some breaths. The discomfort comes in when considering breathing during a normal stroke.

Here's a question for all the fish out there. Should my stroke continue while breathing, or should there be a slight pause in the stroke? Normally, I've rolled to the side and tried to breathe. That interrupts the stroke and I slow down (and lose balance). This morning, I tried breathing while pulling with the forward arm and bringing the back arm forward. I lost less speed and had better balance, but it seems awkward. That, of course, might be a function of not being used to the motion. Any thoughts or suggestions are appreciated.

Tomorrow, it's a good run. Saturday it's WalkAmerica for the March of Dimes. Sunday is a long run, though I may do a bike/run brick if things work out. 1000 yards. It still sounds cool.


tri-mama said...

Thanks for stopping by my site. I had a thought on your nutrition post-first, Tums are an acceptable way to continue calcium intake even if you have no gi symptoms-the calcium in tums is one of the most absorbant and they're cheaper than multi vit/min. If you are drinking dark soda like Coke, this is even more important because the phosphorus in those form a 1:1 ratio with calcium and therefore lower your serum/bone calcium levels- The sugar forms in regular pop will also not be helpful in terms of energy consistency which you will need any time you train over 60 or so minutes. Although, you can't beat a flat coke 2 or 3 hours in. Hope this helps.

Kewl Nitrox said...

Hi, you already know I am FAR from being a fish, but I think the idea is to integrate the breath into the strokes. I am having problems with breathing too - everytime I breathe, my head goes up and my legs go down and I slow down. Things are improving now that I rotate my body when I breathe and also kicking is helping my balance heaps, but still I slow down everytime I take a breath.

So in short my thots are that ideally the breath should be integrated into the stroke to cause minimal disruption. If you are pulling correctly, the breathe becomes just a natural projection of the stroke. In practice, it is very important to be comfortable and not fight the water, so sometimes I allow myself a slight pause to take a good long breath so I don't start panicking. :)

Sherri said...

Hi Iron Pol, I ordered "Total Immersion" today...I'm excited to begin reading it! Thank you for the recommendation!