breaking away....

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Swim Update from our first 8 students

8 X 8, in my program plan that usually means a really hard training session, but actually this time is means 8 people for 8 lessons over 4 weeks. I have to say I was very happy to see the final video results. Everyone had made changes that improved their overall swim, considering that we did it doing very little swimming and a whole lot of thinking and body awareness means it is something anyone can do, it just takes some focus.

The approach we are using is Total Immersion, for those of you Masters swimmers out there, it really is just a teachable method of swim, not an evil take over. The more I learn about swim as I coach, the more you realize that people fear what they don't understand. Total Immersion is sensory training. If you didn't learn to swim efficiently when you were young, it takes a lot more concentration to learn as you get older. That is good news, because it means you can continue to improve, it works your brain and your body. Attention to details is where the main focus is.

How do you swim? How do you catch? How do you Kick? How do you breath? These are really good questions, and I rarely got really good answers, I wanted to understand what to do in order to do it right.

Enter Total Immersion and now I know what my hand is supposed to do, I know what my breathing should be like, I know what my kick should be like, I know my timing, I know how to be propulsive and how to pace myself. I am continuing to improve my swim every time I go because I have a new focus each time that will improve my efficiency in the water.

Terry always has great statistics to explain why we should swim this way. Take a sprinter, they have a set cadence (stride rate) as they speed up they increase their stride length, this propels them further. In swim we think faster means faster movement of our limbs, increase stroke rate usually results in a decrease of stroke length, so the outcome is a high heart rate with very little pay off. If we rationalized to add more focus to streamlining and body position and increase our propulsiveness we will get more speed, make each stroke longer the way a sprinter does. It makes sense, but in nature we tend to rationalize I am racing if my heart is racing, however that doesn't always translate into speed.

In our class we didn't do speed sets, or aerobic training, but in 4 weeks and 8 lessons, everyone is more efficient which translates into faster swimming.

I am posting the youtube videos here so you can have a look at the final results. We are going to continue for 4 more weeks of one lesson per week which means they will be swimming more in between, it is usually harder to break bad habits when you put in volume training, so I will keep their mid week swims specific to the lessons.

I will post the follow up when we are complete.