Adventures in Swimming… Open water coaching

I had my first 121 open water coaching session this week with Jason from South West Swim. This was a follow on from my Video Analysis session earlier in the year. This was my treat to myself this year and has really brought back my love of swimming and my motivation to focus on it over other things.

I got to the lake just after 7am on Tuesday morning. It was beautiful and sunny, even if a little chilly. The air temperature was 6 degrees and the lake was 14-15 degrees!


Once I was ready with wetsuit on and tow flat attached we headed into the lake to see how I was swimming. I have been concentrating on my head/body position and my hand entry /catch since the video analysis and it has been working. There are still some tweaks I can make to improve even more and there are times when I slip into the wrong position, but I now rectify pretty quickly.

In the lake we concentrated on my catch through the water to make sure I am getting the most efficient stroke possible. We used a new toy for me – the Finis Fulcrum – to hold my arms in the correct position. This is the torture device of swimming I’ve decided. There is no room for movement or adjustment once your arm is in them. They feel like an arm brace, it reminded me of the only time I had my arm in plaster. You don’t want to keep these on for very long. Even once I had taken them off I could feel where they had been on my arm!

We then went onto sighting. It’s the one part of open water swimming I don’t like. I find it throws me out of alignment and rhythm. It also tired me out more quickly than if I don’t. However I don’t swim in a straight line. The test, which we did, is to swim towards a buoy with your eyes closed and see where you end up. I ended up to the right of my target, so I need to sight, so I need to practice! There is not one right way to sight, but I am going to have a play around with sighting first then breathing, as I natural do the opposite and feel like I’m holding my breath, which probably make me feel more tired than I actually am.

I have another 3 121 lake sessions booked and another video session to book over the summer, so there are plenty more adventures to be had in the world of open water.

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