Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Freestyle or Bust?

Yesterday, Coach Bob reflected on the dynamic Olympic swimmers and spoke of how much time they spend underwater when they kick off from the wall. Thus, for backstroke drill, we worked on kicking off parallel to the ground and dolphin kicking at least 8 times before rising... allowing buoyancy to bring us to the surface. It was actually a lot of fun - backstroke is perhaps my favorite stroke - so it was great to work on a new facet of swimming.

As I don't use a nose plug, I have gotten into the habit of holding my nose with one hand when I kick off. Coach laughed at me and reminded me to exhale through my nose. I would thereby be able to get both arms extended and a more streamlined position. Worked like a charm!

After 8 x 25m backstroke drill, we went into the main set: 2-3x (200m free, 2x 100m IM, 4x 50m choice). I led during the drill but asked the 'new guy' if he wanted to lead. He did. This worked great during the 200m free. He actually pulled away from me a little by the 3rd length (short course). However, during the IM, he didn't swim the other strokes... he apparently is a triathlete and swims only freestyle. The rest of us were swimming the medley: fly, back, breast, free. We all stink on fly (particularly me) so he was really gaining ground. By the time we got to the 50s, the rotation with rest intervals was all messed up.

It bothered me a little that he didn't want to give the other strokes a try. I understand that as a triathlete, you swim freestyle but why come to Masters? Wouldn't you, as a triathlete, want to work on other strokes since they work other muscle groups? It was a little frustrating.

Anyway... With my warm-up (500m choice, 400m kicking drill w/fins), the total distance for the swim was 2300m. Sweet.

On Monday, I did another 8 miles (relatively same course as I did on the 8th for Nancy's Virtual Race). This time, I finished in 1:15:16 (average pace 9:24). I am much happier with that time. I think I took it too easy on Friday.


  1. I could see that would be frustrating. Maybe he just has a problem pushing himself if he doesnt go to masters. In that case he should be off in a different lane

  2. I am so intrigued by our Olympic swimmers and love watching them. I like to do more than watch them, I was trying to watch their breathing, their arms, legs, torso, etc... I am obsessed as some might say. :)

    Sounds like a good workout. Too bad Tri-guy couldn't follow the plan. booh.

  3. Is it wrong I chuckled imagining you holding your nose as you kicked off? :)

  4. Stacy - I've been studying the swimmers, too! Such a great opportunity...

    Amara's Mom - I think everyone in my lane was chuckling. :D


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