Saturday, February 27, 2010

Swimming Lesson #1: Freestyle Deconstructed

Thanks to Stacia at Swimming It Off, I decided to take swimming lessons. That was her advice when I asked her how to gain endurance so I could swim laps. I thought doing this would add some spice and excitement back into my workouts. Not that they are bad, but the new romance just isn't as strong and energizing as it was at the beginning. So I wanted to refresh that.

So last night was my first lesson. In 1/2 hour I learned all these things that I am doing wrong with my freestyle:

  1. Kicking under the water instead of making a splash
  2. Kicking from the knee sometimes instead of kicking from the hip
  3. Taking 3 strokes, then 4 strokes to breathe (this alone could wreck havoc with my endurance)--I was doing this so I only breathed from my right side
  4. Only breathing from one side
  5. Lifting my head forward after taking a breath (so I've been turning my head to breathe then facing forward)
  6. Not looking straight down while swimming
  7. Not rolling enough to breathe--using my neck more (my instructor didn't tell me this, but hubby did as he watched me practing all my new techniques this AM)
Despite the fact that it looks like I was doing lots of things wrong, he said I had a good foundation and balance and positoning. And, I'm encouraged because once I correct and master these elements, I should have a way more effiecient stroke that helps me breathe more properly and move more properly--thus expanding my endurance!

But I will tell you, he ran through the above pretty quickly and had me trying to make all the corrections at once! It was like rubbing my head and patting my tummy. I found myself gulping in water and spitting and sputtering in ways I haven't done in years!

I have to say I feel like I can tell the difference in kicking already--not only speeding me up in the water but with a mile soreness on the outside of my thighs. And laying in bed this AM as goofy as it sounds, I felt a bit longer.

I'm looking forward to having all these things get engrained. I think swimming laps could feel meditative. . .


  1. WOW!!!!! you sure absorbed a lot! :)
    all of those skills are essential for a relaxed jog like state for swimming rather than something that's more like a sprint.
    Make sure you try to practice any drills they teach you and it will help build the muscle memory for all the things you describe correcting and it will stick. Thanks for the shout out. :)
    oh and I love nina simone too!

  2. How exciting to get lessons. Might as well learn to do it right so as to not receive any injury's. Sounded like a lot to absorb at one time though.


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