Saturday, November 13, 2010

Swim Camp - Day 2

Another busy weekend - last week was IM FL and this one ties me up in a swim camp - it is GREAT!  It's a small group of 9 triathletes hosted by a boutique bike / tri shop in town.  Like any good camp, this is a combination of classroom, video, and practical.  If you've never seen yourself on video - either above water, below, or both - then you have to find a way to get a video done.  If a picture is worth a thousand words, what's a video worth??

I'm an ok swimmer, having taken my first triathlon swim class last fall that lasted about 6 months.  I'd go every Sunday night for an hour with a group of friends and the course was actually taught by my neighbor, a multi-IM finisher and all around nice guy.  My swim times improved from 2:00 min/100m to 1:40 - 1:45/100m.

The swim clinic I am taking now takes things one step further and really teaches us the mechanics and flow, but coupled with demos from the coach and video analysis of our technique, we are getting some amazing feedback.

If you are looking to swim IM distance (or Olympic or longer, for that matter), one of the things we looked at today was stroke count versus speed - in fact, trying to find the right balance.  Here is what we did:
- Swim 50m, moderate effort, count your strokes.  Then
- Swim 50m, moderate effort, watch your time.  Add the two numbers together.  Then
- Play with things a little:

  • Swim faster (hard), counting your strokes.  What did it do to your time / stroke count?
  • Swim as "perfectly" as you can (reach, good tempo, glide).  Effect on time / stroke?
Put all of this in context with IM distance swimming.  We obviously want to swim as fast as possible with the fewest amount of strokes (save energy).  So, we are in search of the right point in busting your tail flailing about in the water.  Be smooth, rhythmic, and glide!

An output of the clinic is a disc with our videos...That will take a bit of time for the coaches to compile so I'll post likely in about a week or so about the finale of the camp.  Until then....

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