This week I went back to my swimming coach from last year – Jason at South West Swim – and had another video analysis session. I was mean to do this after my Solent swim, but had a niggle in my shoulder so put it off and the next thing I know it’s 4 months later!
This time round I got to swim in an endless pool – side note, I’ve added one of these to my wishlist for what I want in my next house! It was a weird experience, but I picked it up quite well and was able to swim properly straight away. It’s like a treadmill and to begin with I kept trying to keep up with the speed as Jason adjusted it to get me in the right position in the centre of the pool. Once I got used to it and stopped worrying about being sucked into the motor, I was able to swim normally and then work on some drills.
I swam for a warm up and then a couple of filmed sets so that we could see what I was swimming like after a good few months of limited swimming. After that we looked at the video and recorded our conversation so that I can watch it back afterwards to remind myself of what I need to do. We looked at the things I need to work on to be more efficient and the ways to correct some issues, again to make me more efficient.
We also looked at comparisons to some elite swimmers. As you can see below the angle of my arm is a bit different from that of Rebecca Adlington’s – something to aim for!
What I need to work on:
- Catch at entry – I have the tendency to push forward, then down, rather than back straight away. I corrected this last year so with a bit of focus this should be a quick win.
- Breathing rhythm and head position – I seem to lift my head, mainly on one side, so we looked at my head position as I look forward quite bit, so I need to look down more, which is another quick fix.
- Angle of arm on the pull through – as you can see from the screen shots above I sweep my arm quite close under my body and I need to adjust this so that my fingers point down towards the bottom of the pool.
Once we had looked at the video and also drills, I got back in the pool to give the drills a go so I could take them away with me to practice, all from the Swim Smooth coaching technique. If you google these you will find out more about them I’m sure, but I’m not going to risk copyright by telling you how to do them (Sorry!).
- Unco (or uncoordinated)
- Skull 1
- Skull 2
- Skull 3
- Doggy paddle
Those are the main things and I have a number of drills I am going to focus on over the next month, while I work on my fitness, to correct those. I also need to do a CSS (critical swim speed) test to see where I currently am to be able to compare to in a month’s time. So I’ll let you know how that goes!
We also had a quick chat about the Bridge to Bridge marathon in August as I am taking part in that as part of the South West Swim team and Jason is going to help us by outlining the distance we should be doing by when, which is what I really need. I’m feeling good about swimming again, which is nice. I’m stepping away from the swimming club to do what I need to do to train and focus and that is good right now.
I also need to get back into the lake soon. It’s currently around 4 degrees Celsius and I missed the last Chilly Dippers swim as I overslept, so it will likely be some ice breaker swims for the start of the season at the end of this month. I feel cold already!