I love my swimming, but I don’t share much of what I do on here and I would like to change that.
I’ve always swam. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t. Childhood holidays were all about the pool for me. I pretty much remember spending most of my time underwater (and lots of ear infections!). I was part of the local swimming club since forever too and also had separate swimming lessons. I worked my way through the badges and distances without any trouble.
Then I hit about 13/14 years old and it was a case of doing lifesaving and/or comp squad. I have never been a sprinter and probably never will be. I don’t enjoy it. So I opted for life saving only, but gradually got bored. I quit the club at around 15 and started swimming on my own using some of the masters club section sessions. I also took the National Pool Lifeguard Qualification and starting working at the pool at 16. I kept on swimming and a former swimming teacher got me to come to the Tuesday night Masters session and then to the official club sessions at around 17 (they let me join early) and I haven’t looked back.
I swam with the club whenever I was home and gradually built my confidence and skill. I remember starting in the slowest lane at the back, feeling good swimming a mile of 1600m. I gradually overtook the ladies in my lane to lead the lane and then got kicked out up to the next lane as I improved. I then worked up that lane too and got to the top lane. I currently hover around the top two lanes, depending on who is at the session and how the lanes even out. I now swim anywhere from 2500m in an hour to 4000m in 90 minutes.
Last night was one of those rare times I hit 4000m with a couple of minutes of the session to spare!
So what are my sessions made up of? Basically something like this:
- Warm Up – 500m to 700m
- Pre Set – 500m to 700m
- Main Set – 1000m to 2000m
- Post Set – 300m to 400m
- Cool Down – 200m
I swim every stroke. For example in last night’s 4000m, 800m was individual medley. An IM is made up of swimming Butterfly, Backstroke, Breaststroke, and Front Crawl, so is at least a 100m set. The majority of the session is front crawl or freestyle, but doing the other strokes adds to my skill and strength. I would also say confidence in the water.
My focus at the moment is tumble turns. I find them okay, but it is so much easier to do a touch turn (plus you get an extra breath!). So since November I have been doing all tumble turns on front crawl and back stroke and finally feel like I’m getting my speed back. It was discouraging when you try something new and slow down, but I had to get used to them and to begin with they wore me out, so I had to slow down or drop a couple of lengths off a set to keep up. Last night I noticed the different and it felt good. So if you decide to try something new don’t give up, keep going and slowly it will become the norm.
I find swimming quite meditative as well. Although I can daydream, I also focus on stroke, breathing, and counting lengths (I’m rubbish at counting strokes per length though) and become much attuned to the moment I’m in. It’s very calming for me, whereas running I am still caught up in how hard every stride is sometimes.
I now want to get faster and be able to swim further. This is a major reason where I know losing weight will make a difference in my life.
I’m thinking of doing more swim posts after I’ve completed my Level One Triathlon Course as I am not a coach, but would like to share what I’ve learnt and what has helped me with technique and skill.
Lastly his is my go to mantra when I struggle in the pool 🙂