Friday, October 14, 2011

Aqua Girl!

Breaststroke
Swimming, today, was enjoyable!

I've been messing around getting used to the water, and very afraid to try any other strokes but the ones that I'm very comfortable.

The breaststroke is one that I usually do to warm up.  It requires that I practice some rhythmic breathing and gets my face in the water.

Back stroke is my other "go to" stroke.  I have placated myself lately with the notion that the backstroke is nearly like freestyle - only flipped.  I could do backstroke up and down the lanes all day long.  On my back, I can breathe.  Whenever I want.
Backstroke

Freestyle has been my nemesis.  Try as I may, I only make it halfway down the lane before I'm sputtering and spitting water.

I've covered all my bases - I have goggles, and earplugs, a proper swim suit and a swim cap.  Each time I get in the water, I think how outwardly  comfortable I am.  The water at the Y is probably a tad to warm - like bathwater...so no complaints there.

Freestyle
But I get going with the stroke that I need to work on and can't breathe!  In the past, I had avoided the water - only swimming once every two weeks.  I used swimming as a default cross training when the weather was bad and I couldn't run or bike.  I didn't dedicate myself to betterment.  I took lessons as a child, and I guess I figured it would be just like...riding a bike.

Through watching YouTube videos and talking with other swimmers, I have learned the secret to freestyle breathing.  Yes, Virginia, there is a technique.  I guess when you turn your body to take the breath, if you only turn your head out halfway, there is a "bow wave" that your head creates - giving you a pocket to breathe in.  Truthfully, while I was watching these helpful videos, I wanted to cry "BS" all over that!

But instead, I pretended that I didn't know everything for a minute, and attacked my 1200 meter endurance swim with careful attention to detail.  I still warmed up with 200m of breast stroke, but I committed to half of my session being dedicated to practicing proper breathing.  I did the "up" portion of the lap practicing freestyle and rewarded myself with the "back" portion in backstroke.

I felt so wonderful about my swim today!  I was really dreading it - and trying to get out of it - but am glad that I did it.  A 1000m swim used to look like an all day venture to me!  But today I did the 1200 in about 40 minutes.  I feel like I did the first time I ran my usual route faster!  It's like swimming PR, baby, and it feels great!!

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