Monday, December 27, 2010

Flippers and Form

I am not a great swimmer. But, I can swim and I am a lot better than when I started August 2009. Form is so important to swimming, just like running, but my swimming form...needs improvement. I used to look like I was barely afloat, and now at least there is some rhythm to it. But it's not that graceful stroke that I see in my dad, Jenny, or my triathlete buds. I do like swimming a lot, and I know I will continue to get better with it over time. I'm just not having the rapid improvements that I want - and that's okay - this is not my number #1.
This morning, I went in to the Y for a swim. One of my triathlete buds, Adam, was lifeguarding, so we exchanged hellos and then I headed in. After 300 yards, he handed me flippers. I tend to do a scissor kick, and am not good at the flutter kick. My arms are better than they were, but the kick needs improvement. So, I did 100 yards with a kick board and flippers (fins?). Wow, I was motoring, at least in comparison to my usual crawl. So, I ditched the board and flippers, and kept going with my own two feet. The thing that is hard for me is maintaining that rhythm while kicking and pulling - it's a lot of coordination!
Do you think more coordination is needed for running or swimming?
Back and forth I went, doing my best to keep my feet fluttering and avoiding the scissor kick. I think the hard part is that I feel like my legs are just so straight, and I want to bend them a little more. But I kept going, and sort of tucked my legs in to shake them out during the turnaround. Anyways, I got in 1400 yards and it probably turned out to be one of my best swims ever. The endurance training from running helps, because I don't need to stop to rest at any point. I've done a 1 mile swim once, and that was torture (September 2009). I would like to get to a point where I can do a mile comfortably and regularly.
Good form is hard to maintain, both on the road and in the water. But slow and steady improvements are starting to happen!


  1. Be patient young grasshopper. Swimming form is really, REALLY difficult. Four seasons in and I am still slowly, steadily making improvements in my swim stroke.

    Get ready for the New Year PR!

  2. Swimming form is sooooo much harder than running form. I would love to be able to swim--both to have access to a pool and to be able to swim well. I am sure people laughed at me, but I took my mask and snorkle with me a couple of years ago to swim. It was the only way I could do it. Who cares?! I sure didn't!