Every September after my last triathlon my swimming and biking tank. Usually I do get better after a few weeks and I maintain pace and increase distance during the winter months. This year the same thing happened, but I did not get better. It got harder to swim and I was wearing myself out. Swimming is my least favorite activity and it is especially detestable when I am not improving. Fortunately the pool staff started offering critiques of swimmers in November. I availed myself of the service and the assistant pool manager watched me swim and made suggestions. The main problem was that I was short stroking. I had not realized I was doing it, but the more I flailed away with the short strokes the more I had to. She told me to conscientiously touch my thigh on each stroke. From that point on my speed and stamina increased. Now I was able to work on other aspects of my swimming technique.
So today after weeks of steady improvement, I swam faster and farther then at any other time.
Distance: 1.7 miles, 1 hr 01 min 57 secs, Average pace: 36:26 min/miles, 1.65 mph.
(500=10:26, :08, 500=10:11, :06, 500=10:10, :07, 500=10:06, :05, 500=10:12, :06, 500=10:15)
I not only have gotten faster, but my pacing has improved. Before I would start out faster and then slow down with each 500 yard set. Now I start out and get faster or maintain a pace close to the other sets. I am very pleased with this pacing.
I believe there are 3 Ts to successful triathlons (Training, Technique, and Technology). Training is commitment to work hard and putting in the time to succeed. Technique is the little things that improve our efficiency in running, biking and swimming. I feel that good technique can impact swimming the most of all. That leaves technology which is what money can buy. Funding can provide better bikes, wetsuits, shoes, etc. that can buy you speed. For those of you who have heard me gripe about my crappy bike, you know I have to concentrate on the other two Ts.
When I started swimming I swam in a masters program with a coach. Decatur quit supporting that program last year and I have not had the benefit of a coach to help me improve technique. I am thankful that at least they now provide someone to help with advice and critiques of swimming. So kudos to Decatur Parks and Recreation.
Hopefully my swimming will continue to improve and I will shave a few minutes off my triathlon times this spring and summer.
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