Not Bad.

•January 16, 2013 • Leave a Comment

17th January… past the halfway point.

That felt good today!

The first 1000m, and particularly the first few lengths breathing left felt very comfortable.

By the second 1000m things were a little less comfortable, but overall the pace was a bit faster today.

1.48/100m down from 1.52-1.53 most days on the long sets.

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/262642566

Breathing left for longer distances.

•January 15, 2013 • Leave a Comment

1000m warmup. Followed by 600m breathing only left.

I was wondering if the gap in speed/efficiency on my LHS is caused by a scissor when I breath left. This occurred to me as I watched other swimmers’ videos on the TI forums. When going for breath is the time that most kick scissor out madly. So today I concentrated on what my legs were doing when I breathed left. Good news; no scissor that I could feel, or at least if there is one, it’s small and streamlined.

The slow pace that I’m swimming at the moment actually has very little kicking. Rotated focus point through various points. During the 1000m it was mostly on the head, trying to keep laser pointed down the pool. Did okay I guess.

Noticed the cute girl in the lane next to me, not generating much propulsion but a nice neat style. Small kick, but her youth and flexibility in her back allow her to keep a nice flat body position despite high head and pretty poor catch. I could definitely help her go faster. Quite short and doesn’t look very strong, so no Olympian, but she could do a lot better. Curiously one of the best looking strokes on such a slow swimmer I’ve seen.

Did the last 600m breathing LHS only. Got a bit of a sore neck now, but the flexibility is improving. I definitely can’t do “popeye” mouth on the left. Quite annoying, but at least it’s making me focus on body rotation on the left.

Maybe I’ll aim to do 1500m or 2000m breathing left only at the end of January for my final swim of “bilateral month”.

Comfort swim

•January 15, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Yesterday it was snowing when I left the house at 5am. Headed for the pool, feeling the Monday blues a bit. Had to trim my hair, and the tubes were running late, so not as much time for a swim as usual.

Just did a slow relaxed 1000m, the Citypoint pool is a degree or two warmer than Virgin, but on a snowy January morning that was fine by me.

Was still a bit cold, so followed it with 5 mins in the hot tub watching the other swimmers and thinking how they could improve their strokes.

It reminded me of the days 2-3 years ago when 1000m was a long swim for me. Felt a bit nostalgic. A comfort swim, then off to breakfast at the Moorgate Buttery, which is a bit too far from the Virgin pool. So after this month I will be breakfasting at the City Cafe, which is fine, but not as nice. Oh well.

A little test.

•January 11, 2013 • Leave a Comment

As it’s Friday I thought I’d check something.

1000m warmup, breathing left one length and right the next. (Avg 1.47/100)

Followed by 3x200m where I attempted to apply an equal perceived physical effort for my “perpetual motion” pace. The LHS breathing felt pretty good. I am still getting a bit of a sore neck from it, but 200m straight is probably the most I’ve ever done and it felt okay. RHS felt normal, good feel for the water, steady perpetual pace. The 3rd stroke bilateral I was trying for the same perceived effort, the stroke felt good though slightly different from the other two – better “balanced” I guess. But I was certainly running short of air towards the end.

I am still a long way from equalizing the perceived neurological effort of LHS v RHS breathing.

200m breathing left only on every 2nd stroke. (Avg 1.43/100)

200m breathing right only on every 2nd stroke. (Avg 1.37/100)

200m bilateral on every 3rd stroke. (Avg 1.36/100)

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/260623824

Feeling it on the left.

•January 8, 2013 • Leave a Comment

I feel very disconnected from my stroke when breathing left, so much so in fact that I struggle to “feel” things properly even when I’m on my right lengths.

My focal point for the last 2 days has mostly revolved around putting my arms in the correct position. Spearing nicely through the mailslot on my left hand, whilst keeping the lead right hand wide enough for stability while breathing to the left and poised for the catch when the left hand spears.

So hopefully this is preventing the stroke from falling apart, and my swim watch says there isn’t much difference between lengths breathing left and those breathing right. So even though it feels all wrong that is not evident from the data.

Today then, after 500m or so I tried to refocus on all the clues I have when breathing on my right; the feel of the water on my hands when I stroke, the feel of the water on my legs as I kick, feeling the extension (or lack of) in my scapula as I spear. On the left I was still concentrating on trying not to feel like I was drowning. After 1000m or so I then tried to capture or transfer that mental awareness that I have to left breath lengths. Devilishly hard. But not hopeless.

It’ s only the 8th of January and I do feel like I am making some progress on left breathing.

Back to basics.

•January 6, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Monday means concentrating on relaxed head and neck. Bilateral breathing yes, but first get that neck relaxed.

Last week was only okay. Not great. See how we go tomorrow.

Back to the little pool for January – a month of bilateral breathing.

•January 3, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Old pool – 20m, great club in the city.

New pool – Virgin Active so lots of 25m pools, including a couple I can use at the weekend.

So I suspended my membership for December and gave Virgin a try. Not nearly as nice a place, no atmosphere, but the pools are better and I can go at weekends. And take the girls. So I gave notice and am down to my last month at the Citypoint Club.

With a warmer and shorter pool it’s not so easy to swim fast, so what to concentrate on? Well, anything will do I suppose, but I’ve decided to try a month of bilateral breathing. Make sure I breathe either every alternate length on the left for 2-stroke breathing or every 3 strokes.

Two sessions down. Many to go. So far so good.

Is it getting easier to breathe left? Maybe. Not much.