May 6, 2009

Getting back into Swim Squad

For those of you who don’t know my swim history, here is a brief overview:

1. In the pool at 3. Thanks mom.

2. Started swimming squad at 6. Once a day, 3 days a week.

3. By age 12 I was goefing (foreigners read: swim practise) 10 sessions a week, plus a gala every weekend. Roughly 60km a week of swimming.

4. Peak weeks or “Hell Week” as we used to call it, peaked around 90km a week, in the pool. I have yet to outrun that in a week, even at full Ironman training.

Why swim so much, as a lightie (foreigners read: young one)?

Swimming is all technique, and I was a distance swimmer. Sure, old school mentality meant I probably could have skipped about 20% of that and put it to more effective things, but I reckon to be top class, and get your 10 000 hours in, nothing beats practise.

So, this week, I have hopped back in with a proper swim squad. I have a rabbit named Phil who I have to chase most of the session, which helps alot, since his stroke is exemplary and I have learnt a bit about the mistakes I may have been making in the past 10 years since I stopped competitive swimming.

I don’t ever want to swim full time again. But I would like to be able to hop out the water in any Ironman in sub 50 minutes all the time (2008 I was out in 49:23 in PE and 53:20 ish in Kona but thats not a wetsuit swim) with AS LITTLE EFFORT AS POSSIBLE. I dont want to lead any packs – just swim in the front pack, and conserve.

What is the stroke I am aiming for?

I love this video, and if it had David Guetta – Everytime we Touch in the background, I might sit and watch it all day. Literally.

Its the perfect stroke. Watch it again and again, and learn to implement this idea in your stroke. The roll in the hips, the shoulders, the reach, the “catch”. This is the ideal scenario, and the perfect stroke. WOW!

I hope to get close to this with squad. I have a coach who really cares that I swim correctly, even if it means I go slower right now. In the long term, I am looking to be as efficient as possible in the water, so that I can suck feet and get on the bike fresh, ready for a 180km cycle, and a 42.2km run, and some day, to get under 9 hours.

3 Comments on “Getting back into Swim Squad

Doc G
May 6, 2009 at 4:38 pm

Wow how about his catch and high elbow. Beautiful images. Your stroke looked pretty sweet to me.

May 6, 2009 at 8:16 pm

OOOMOOOOGOOOOOSH – I..Need…TO…SWIM….LIKE….THAT! Okay maybe just a little like that- teeny weeny bit

Phil AKA The Rabbit
May 6, 2009 at 8:34 pm

Absolutely awesome! The way he holds it so perfectly together for the full 1500… He’s definately put in his 10 000 hours!
Freestyle technique is everything, we’l get there! 😉


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