For Christmas Patrick got me a swim stroke analysis session at Blue Sky Endurance in Mount Pleasant. After a whole two weeks of no exercise except for the hour of rowing and the massive amount of walking I did I showed up at the shop for my session. The store is a triathlon outfitting shop that also has a current pool where their swim expert reviews your stroke and takes a video to show you what you need to improve, then reviews drills with you to help correct what needs work and at the end you get to swim again and see how your stroke has changed.
Before getting started we reviewed my goals and what I do to train. I explained I want to get faster for my one mile Lake Placid swim and the 2.5K Lake George swim and gave her my teams for each. Then I explained my basic focus when I hit the pool at home—speed drills!
I have never swum in a current pool and it was completely different from what I expected. It felt like I was being tossed all over the pool and when Kayla replayed my video that is exactly what was happening! On practically each rotation my feet were flying to the other side of the pool and actually hitting the sides! I explained after that I usually just don’t use my legs when I swim because it is hard for me to coordinate and I feel like it slows me down. She had me work on my kicks and do some different kick drills with breathing on each side then we did some different drills to work on my stroke. I have been swimming with the same stroke used in the “catch-up” drill so she corrected me so that I would have alternating movements meaning when one hand is up in front of me the other will be behind me. We also worked on a sculling movement with my strokes and drills to keep me from having a thumb first hand entry.
After going over all the little details it was time to put it all to the test for my final swim stroke review! I had a zillion things to remember, but it all came together and I felt so much more in control compared to when I first started. The video reflected that control as well. I was totally streamlined- no knocking the sides of the pool this time! I still had a thumb entry with my hand, but you could also see underwater where I was correcting it. So I still have some work to do, but I certainly feel like I am on track to cut down on my swim times this summer!