Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Yet more swimming revelations

After my 'pretend to be superman' revelation a few months ago, I've been doing very little swimming. This has mainly been due to running a lot, but I haven't got that excuse any more. So... back to the pool for me.

I went once last week and was mainly rubbish, then I went yesterday. One thing I notice when swimming is that I get very bad trapped wind for a few hours after swimming. At first I thought this was probably a reaction to using muscles I wasn't used to. However, after a bit of trawling through swimming forums for similar complaints, I'm convinced it's because I'm overbreathing. Instead of just taking in enough air on every third stroke, I am gulping down to much air too quickly. It can't all go into my lungs, so the excess goes into my stomach. Hence trapped wind.

Yesterday I remembered something my total immersion swimming instructor said: "If you breath out enough, you won't need to worry about breathing in, it will just happen." So I tried this, and it worked. Instead of going huh [breathe out] arrrrhh [breath in] every time I stick my face out of the water. I now just go [huh] and forget about breathing in. Obviously, I must be breathing in enough, since I don't go blue and sink to the bottom and die. I also get less tired, which is great.

Having said that, you must be reading this and imagining me like some sort of half-decent swimmer. Just to put it into perspective, there was a lady in the lane next to me doing bad front crawl (even I could tell this). Her arms were dragging the water while they were coming over, and her stroke length was quite short. Despite this, she kept going and looked like she was doing a lot of lengths over the lunchtime period. On one of my lengths (in a set of 8) we were swimming next to each other and it became clear she was faster than I was.

I think I need a few more revelations, and a lot more hard work before I can pretend to be a proper swimmer. I'm idly thinking about an olympic distance triathlon next year, so that can be my training goal. Luckily, I can only get better.

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