Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Review of Freestyle Technique

This is a simple clip, but at least enough to give me something to think about. This may not be how I always swim, as I did this rather hurriedly after a fairly hard 2,100 meters. Still, the camera is a very good way in which we can see what we are doing.

In spite of swimming a lot of meters much of last year, my swimming slackened in December and January as I grappled with water temperatures sometimes in the low 60s together with the fact that I was very busy with work - the recession has not hit me yet.

I was swimming at my best around early October last year, and for distances around 100m and 200m I appeared to set my best times perhaps ever. However, I switched pools in late October (from an indoor 25m pool to an outdoor lane-divider-less 50m pool) and I started studying the freestyle swimming technique taught by Karlyn Pipes-Neilsen of Aquatic Edge.

Everything felt strange at first, and I balked at the idea of doing a flip turn where I would have to lie on my back underwater - a sure recipe for a lot of water up your nose or, worse, a crash into the bottom of the shallow pool! However, I persevered and things started to look good, although I became a lot slower.

Then the cold weather came followed by a cold a little before Christmas that decimated me. I literally lost about 10 percent of whatever muscle mass I had built up in the space of a few days. I still have not got it back.

Anyway, hopefully the winter is over now and I can increase the yardage and not feel all weakish from the effects of the cold for most of the morning after the swim. I will also pay attention to doing a little weightbearing exercise at home, and use the Stretchcordz, etc. Hopefully, I will get my times down somewhat over the next few months. Never give up, it is never to late to learn!


ShirleyPerly said...

Wow, a 10% muscle mass loss sounds pretty substantial to me in such a short period of time. Glad you're well again and swimming. I think you are brave to do a flip turn in the shallow end knowing how tall you are. My new coach is not interested in having me work on flip turns, unfortunately, at least right now.

Eileen Swanson said...

Keep up the good work. Keep on the strength training, it's so good for you!! Oh and I don't do handstand pushups every night, HAHA ;-)

Mark said...

hi bruce,
i tried to comment last week but the system seemed to have a few gremlins!
are you left handed by any chance?
the right and left arm appear to be doing slighty different things, I think if you can get the right arm in a little and and anchor it sooner for the pull you will see a big improvement in forward momentum
all the best and happy new year

Bruce Stewart (施樸樂) (ブルース・スチュワート) said...

Mark, I am right handed (for most things, like writing, guitar and golf, etc., but I like using the left hand when using a calculator). I agree that when try to catch and pull it seems easier on the left side. Anyway, the video was helpful and I am trying to focus on what the right arm is doing a lot more now. Thanks for the comment.

VICKY said...