Tuesday, September 14, 2010

How not to swim

It has been a little over a year since I had a video of my swim. So I took the swimfit people up on their video session last night.

While my swimming has improved tremendously over last year in July, when I took my first adult swim lessons with TI in Chicago, I still have a looooonng way to go to swim like Michael Phelps :)

The first thing that we noticed on my first run, was that I am making circles with my stroke, a big no no. You see this means that I am pushing down on entry and pulling up on exit. You want to make motions in a linear fashion like climbing a ladder, with all of your effort going to pulling you forward.

You could see bubbles coming off on my hands on my entry which indicated that I was pushing down. I see now how using paddles can be effective in helping to correct this. George told me that once I start to pull until I exit on my stroke, my finger tips should be pointed at the bottom of the pool.

Also my flexibility came up again, only this time in connection with my upper body inhibiting my ability to stroke properly.

In addition, I need to keep my hands consistently wide on my catch and stroke, plus I of course need to be overall more balanced in the water, and keep my legs together with shorter scissor kicks to improve my streamlining.

Oh yeah, I am keeping my head to low which is driving my feet down as well.

The fix - kicking with my arms at my side (with or without fins) and rotating side to side, breathing without stroking.

Time my hip rotation a bit sooner with my stroke

Catch up drill or some form of front quadrant swim drill

lots and lots of slow deliberate stroking with my elbows high in the water

Stretch, stretch and then stretch some more.

Hopefully a year from now I will be able to look back and see the same improvement that I have seen since last July and be swimming a lot less Rock like!

Until next time


Friday, September 10, 2010

Sport Legs!!

It has been almost 2 months now since I got out of my SHOE, and I have to say, my comeback has been suprisingly easy!

Not to say that my training has been easy, it has been filled with hard sprints, hard rides, being dropped by the group, low blood sugar, hills and thrills! (the usual) But my progress has been tremendous.

With one week until I start running again, I can look at a lot of inspiring accomplishments on the bike and in the pool over the summer.

Let's start with the water, since often I am less than inspired with my performance in this area,,,,, it is just disheartening to see a 90 year old woman swim twice the distance that I do in an hour :)

The positive side is that I did a personal best 50 last month at 57 seconds and seem to get stronger every time that I get in the pool. My kick is becoming more effective as my flexiblity increases and hopefully will continue to improve.

I swam twice in Lake Michigan this summer, not the amount of times that I wanted to plus I have yet to visit the Lake Monsters in Chicago, but wetsuit season is here and I plan to make the pilgrimage yet this fall before things Ice over up there.

Now for the bike. I modified my OCR2 road bike even more this summer, upgrading to Ultegra shifters, cassette (11-28)and rear derailer, Gore cables, Dura Ace chain and front derailer, saving a grand total of 1.25 lbs and turning my bike into a 10 speed rear.

But even before I did the mods, I noticed that I was riding faster, with more endurance and more importantly climbing stronger. The only thing that I am doing really that much different from my pre injury time is sleeping more, like 9-10 hours per night on the average it seems. Which has caused me to miss a few swim workouts as I usually don't get home from my rides until late.

Another thing that I am doing different is fueling. Instead of trying to start with a relatively high BG say 200ish, I am shooting for more in the 120 range, eating a meal a couple of hours before my rides and then eating some fruit just before the start. In addition I am fueling with Motor Tabs www.motortabs.com which has only 18 carbs per liter that I mix. Also, I have really been concetrating on eating live food (no I am not talking about chicken or beef :)) but fresh fruits and vegetable, I am taking tryptophane as a sleep aid after particularly hard efforts along with my ReLiv mix and Arginine and ornathine to promote deep sleep and recovery.

Yesterday evening, I tried a new product called "Sport Legs" that claims to be able to improve performance by 11% well one of 2 things happened, either these little pills worked some sort of magic with me last night or skipping that morning swim workout in favor of eye surgery, paid off.

I rode with the Killer B group out of Nebo Ridge and finished on the front after 30 miles for the first time ever, about 8th at the end which included a couple of A's that we picked up along the way that got shelled off from that group. My average speed was my highest ever 21.9 mph for 30 miles!!

Likely it is a combination of all of the things that I am doing, but another thing I noticed when I went to stretch out (I have been stretching a lot lately so as to prevent another broken foot)

So I can't wait to start running next week (very carefully, slowly and with carefully measured increases in distance, warming up, cooling down and stretching out) I am very excited.

Stay tuned