Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Lesson 5: Rhythm

We started training with my little beeping device to help me control my stroke rate. It wasn't nearly as difficult as I thought it would be to keep in time with it. For the time being we are keeping the stroke rate down low (45 spm!) to give me time to get the technique right. The good thing about marking the strokes is that it helps me not feel rushed. In particular, Luis pointed out something which I was vaguely aware of myself: I tend to rush my right arm through the water.

Rhythm is something that I have written about before, in the context of rowing and running. In swimming, I expect it is the same: for a given stroke rate, if you can work more quickly then you have more time to recover. At one point Luis told me to stop "using my brain so much and to use my intuition more". That's the thing about rhythm, it's something you feel. Just like a bunch of robots playing the drums sounds terrible, you can't be too mechanical about it. There were certainly times in the session today when I felt like I had a good, un-rushed rhythm. I felt like I was moving myself forward more effectively by not snatching at the water.

We also worked on my hand entry. Total Immersion has drilled into me entering my hand into the water close to my head. According to Luis I should be entering at about halfway between my wrist and my elbow of my other arm. You know me, I have to investigate this further... I never take anything as given!

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