Psyching myself up Thursday, August 9th, 2007
I can pass the swim portion of the qualification test for entry into the Navy Seals, which is a breezy 457.2 Meters sidestroke in under 12 minutes. This is by means the great feat that it sounds, my 5′11 frame comes with a ton of leg power, and the sidestrokes propulsion is all in the legs. In my search for online tutorials, I found a great image that helped me so much, that even with my triathlon pending just a mere 2 days away, I’m considering changing my sweet side stroke for the breast stroke (aka The 5th), which according to popular opinion is the faster of the two and would gain me a few extra seconds with each 50 meters. However, the breast stroke is all upper body, and therefore requires more overall energy expense, and my technique is loose and unpracticed.
My x girlfriend is a champion swimmer and trained along side her brothers for the Olympics. She sculls of course, as most well trained swimmers do, and I saw her do the 750 so comfortable and elegantly, I’m not sure her breath was ever elevated. It’s a beautiful thing, a good freestyle stroke, and for about 100 meters or so feels really good. After that, I can’t breathe. Maybe it’s the shortened length of time for the breath on the freestyle, or the bad technique that makes me lose my breath to easily, but for a serious distance swimming I’d need scuba gear to avoid drowning.
If you are looking to perfect your technique, a real trainer is the solution. However, if your a self taught non professional hobbyist and are looking for some here ya go:
Kurt Grote, world champion breast stroker, via Terry Laughlin, gives some
I was way off on the positioning of my elbows, and remember I was saying the breaststroke is all upper body? Well this photo series really illustrates that. In all the online tips for the 5th, the kick is strangely ignored, which is unfortunate since that’s where all my swim talent comes form.
Your hips and torso is where your power comes from. You hear that a lot in the freestyle, “learn to roll your hips”. For the breast stroke, “lean on your chest enough to feel as if you’re gliding “downhill.” This helps cock your hips so they’re ready to rock forward in the short-axis body rotation that generates the power that drives your stroke.” so says Terry. Another tip I entirely neglected.
I dont know if I’m going to take it out for a real spin in the race this weekend, but I’ll certainly add it to my collection of swim tips and hope in the end, I just manage to breathe through the whole thing!
BG gave me my bike, Jack, last year and it is a bright orange Specialized Hardrock Sport with transition tires. This means it’s a mountain bike with enough flat tread in the middle of the tire that the knobby tread shouldn’t slow me down too much. It will never reach the speeds a road bike can, but it’s comfortable and will get the job done. I use baskets not clips, so I suspect in the long run that’s another strike against speed. My plan this year: ride hard, pay attention to the turns, and only have one earphone on so I can hear the whistles. Last year I was following a guy in a green windbreaker and went 12 miles out of the way before I realized I followed the wrong guy. That’s more then a blonde moment.
I feel sure that the reason the run is the last leg of the race is because it sucks the most. Of course, I know a gazelle, and its her best leg. I’m not a very fast runner, and my feet are far more comfortable in hooker heels then in tennis shoes so my 12 minute miles feel more like 12 minute yards.
Maybe next week I’ll post a picture of me crawling over the finish line spitting out my last breath. In the meantime, if you have any extra tips send em my way. If not, just think good thoughts.
I wonder if they’d let me wear flipper shoes?