Thursday, January 26, 2012

Just Breathe

Date: January 26, 2012
Time: 4:30 p.m.
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Short Course Yards
151 days to Olympic Trials

The hardest part of swimming with the top age-group swimmers at Phoenix Swim Club is not the intervals or the amount of yards swum. It's all the breath-holding 25s we do! Every Thursday, I would estimate about 40 percent of the breaststroke workout deals with swimming or kicking underwater for 12-1/2 yards, or the entire 25.

We don't do that kind of stuff regularly in the Masters group, though I suppose it would be a good way to keep our old lungs strong. Even though we are not swimming extremely fast, the breath holding makes the sets more difficult, and I find myself gasping for air much more than everyone else. Of course, they do this on a regular basis, which makes it easier for them.

The focus of the 4,200-yard workout was the arm recovery on breaststroke. Coley kept encouraging me to be faster on the recovery, and while I know it is an area of great potential, it is not easy to do. It's all about muscle memory, and I figure it will take about a month for my body to fully be comfortable with it. We did lots of head-up breaststroke today, and that is a great drill for arm recovery. If you are recovering your arms quickly, it's easier to keep your head above water.

After the workout, I asked Coley to look at my start to get his thoughts on the things I've been working on. Before I even did the dive, he made a suggestion my back position. Instead of having a rounded back, it's best to have a straight back when you're in the set position. This was not easy to do and feel comfortable on the block. But on the bright side, once I got the position correct, I felt like I got a better push off the blocks. I went too deep on the entry, but I did feel like I had more speed in the water. This is something that will take some work, but I'm anxious to see where it will go.

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