So I had a video analysis session on my swimming last week and it was weird, but also really good and I think it is going to improve my swimming a lot this year.
I have taken a step back from triathlon over winter. There are various reasons why, but overall I am just not enjoying it any more. I’ve said it before, but if I hadn’t already signed up for the 70.3 I don’t think I would this year. However I am keeping going, but I have to have something I look forward to and for me that is swimming and getting back into open water swimming this year.
I treated myself to a coaching package from Jason at South West Swim. I’ve gone for the package that contains 2 video sessions and 4 121 sessions in the lake. It is really good as I can spread them out over the spring summer, so I feel like it value for money and although I paid upfront I get the benefit over the whole season.
This is for me to improve my swimming and work towards a 10k swim. The first video session was on Friday, but I’ve only just had time to go through the videos myself after the session. You basically get in and swim normally for 8 lengths and have it recorded from different angles. You then go through the video and pick out the bits you need to work on then go through some drills to help with those. There isn’t really much swimming involved, but the take away is more than I have ever had. The main things that have come out for me to work on right now are my hand entry/initial catch and my head position.
I’ve thrown in some screen shot of the session (I am definitely not linking to the video!)
So what am I am doing:
Hand Entry and Catch – I try to enter the water fingers first; the video shows that I don’t always manage that. So I have some new hand paddles from Finis (Freestyler) to help me with this. I then need to make sure my catch starts right away rather than pushing downwards. I need to be pushing the water backwards (or my body forwards) rather than up or down. This has probably stemmed from a tendency to over reach. Both of these I can work on in my normal sessions.
Head Position – I am holding my head slightly too high, which is causing my feet to drop below the water and causing me to drag my body. All in all I am making it more difficult for myself. So I am tweaking my head position by using my eyes and adjusting where I am looking when I swim. I am looking too far forward, so I need to bring it back a bit. This again can be done in my normal swim sessions and it just about reminding myself about what I am looking at.
My personal goal for this year is also to get my bilateral breathing a habit, rather than something I have to concentrate on all the time. I would like to be able to get stronger with it and be able to keep it up while I swim further and get tired. This will be helped by the above technique adjustments so I see it as a complimentary practice.
Overall this was a brilliant session and I have already been practicing the above. It is really weird watching the videos back though as we recorded our conversation over it and then Jason added more commentary and advice to the drills video. I went to the 220 Triathlon Show at the weekend and treated myself to some new hand paddles (as well as a Dryrobe!) so feel really motivated to get practicing and get back in the lake. My other big purchase I need to make is a new swimming specific wetsuit.
I also want to get more involved in the open water community and get to know people at the lake who I saw last year, but didn’t do anything more than say hi or have a quick chat to. There are lots of othe revents and activities I want to get involved in this summer with open water swimming nd joining the community up my local lake with help with that.