Monday, July 4, 2011

Re "Learning" to Swim

So we've been in Hattiesburg for right at a month now.  I've had 4 weeks of 3x week of swimming at USM with the Masters Swim and Coach Steve Panzram.  My freestyle stroke has been changed quite a lot, I almost would go as far as saying changed completely by the coach.  And.... the results are showing in a BIG WAY!!  In all the years that I've been swimming (age group  and 3 different Masters groups before this one) I haven't had such constructive and postitve coaching!

When I left North Carolina I was in the pool usually twice a week.  I always swam a workout with intervals but also always swam by myself.   Typically if I was swimming 100's - I would repeat them on 1:45 and bring them in on the 1:30, sometimes just under and sometimes 5+ seconds over.  The last time I remember feeling really good swimming was back in 2007 getting ready for IM Lousiville.  I did a set of 22 x 100 on 1:45 and brought them all in under 1:30. 

A week or so ago I got challenged and swam some 100's on a 1:30 interval and was able to just bring them all in under the wire.  About 5 seconds rest - maybe.

Friday we did a set which included a bunch of 100's on 1:45 and I brought them all in anywhere from 1:20-1:23 and the Last One Fast One.... a 1:18!!!  (I haven't seen that time since long, long ago - I think High School).

So... you ask... just what did he change on my stroke???  One - my left arm recovery was good but at the last second I'd let my forearm enter pretty flat into the water - kind of slapping it down.   Two - slowing my stroke turnover.  When I first started swimming with the group I wasn't in very good swim shape (I'd been a little lazy about swimming in NC) and when I was pushing hard I think Coach counted 28 strokes per length (that is A LOT).  Now... pretty consistently I hit 19.  Sometimes up to 21 when I'm tired and quite a few 18's!   10 seconds per hundred improvement is huge!! 

There is also nothing like swimming with a group. (and I really like the people that I swim with - they've welcomed me to their group like I'm an old friend!).  The pressure to make the interval, not let the person behind you catch you, not look like a slug in the water... all these things help me swim faster and try harder.

I'm pretty excited about seeing my times drop.  And I'm not finished yet!! 

Race Of Grace - 2nd fastest Female Swim!!
6th fastest Overall Swim split!  Woot!