Saturday, April 19, 2008

Trying Something New in the Pool

Yesterday, when I was wondering how I might get a little faster on my swims of around 100m in the pool, I came across the following footage of a 200m race including Thorpe, Van den Hoogenband and Phelps. I realized that I had trouble coming off the wall when trying to race against my friends, and now I see more clearly what they are doing. This is not a long video, but it does show some underwater footage. In particular watch Thorpe's underwater dolphin kick after he comes off the wall and the big sweeping strokes down the home stretch.

So this morning, I went down the pool as normal, first at 6:30 am, but after seeing many motor scooters parked outside, I decided to return home and get some work done first. On Saturdays, the pool also opens again at 9:00 am for a second morning session. It so turned out that there weren't many people then. After a 400m warm up, I started to do shorter swims (like 50m) with about 15 seconds rest in between each one. After doing a variety of different things, I got up to 2,400m. Although I felt I was anything but swimming like the people I had watched on the video, I decided to end up with a few 50m swims like this. I pushed off the wall but more underwater and did a kind of dolphin kick for a few strokes until I hit the surface, I then took fairly big controlled strokes down to the end of the 25m pool and tried to flip turn so at least I could get a push off the wall. I then did more dolphin kicks coming off the wall and, although I needed quite a bit of air on the first breath, I started to push it down the back stretch, though at the same time trying not to lose my stroke. It is kind of fun. After the dolphin kicking, once you come up you can more or less make it back in about 13 or 14 strokes instead of about 16 or 17.

After doing 4 x 50m like that, I felt I was pau and went down to the jacuzzi for a few minutes to massage my shoulders. Then I saw another space open up in the main pool and I got my hand paddles and swam easy and relaxed to bring my workout up to the 3,100m mark. I could have continued, but after about 1hr 20 min in the water, decided to call it a day. It felt a good workout. My cold felt better this morning, although quite a bit worse this afternoon and evening. The weather here is very hot, and so it is uncomfortable having a cold. At least in the pool I feel more comfortable.

Although I did not spend such a lot of time on swimming today, leaving me a lot of time to do work and other things, maybe because of my cold, I did not get that much done the rest of the time. However, this morning I did finish one short but tricky legal translation and I am about half way through another translation that will be used at a high-level government conference. So life is not all just swimming and sleeping, and I am getting on with other things at the same time.

Tomorrow (Sunday) I plan to have a fairly short and light workout. I will have to go early and the pool may have a lot of people. Besides, if I do too much, I will probably fall asleep at church later in the morning.

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