Friday, August 8, 2014

Go Figure

Shortly after signing up for Barb's Race the first time...some time around November 2012... James told me to get the "Triathlete's Training Bible". I guess the thought was that I would read it and it would help me figure out what I needed to do to get ready for my first 70.3 race.

Best taken in small doses!

The book was overwhelming to me as a new triathlete. It was like trying to drink out of a fire hose! So I skimmed chapters and looked at pictures, but that was about it. The only thing the book taught me that first year was that I had no idea what I was doing.

After Barb's Race 2013, I made another attempt at reading the book. I did better than the first time, but still ended up skipping around looking for things that made sense. I did the self evaluation. I even tried to create an annual training plan. Unfortunately, my annual training plan ended up being nothing more than a calendar with my races on it.

Third Time's a Charm

I just started reading the book again. I re-did my self evaluation and I started mapping out an annual training plan (it's already more than just a race calendar). Since I was a little disappointed with my swim at Barb's Race this year, I started reading the chapter on skills, specifically swimming skills. On page 208 it mentions Total Immersion and how the founder is "perhaps the leading authority in the United States on swimming drag reduction for triathletes".

With this in mind, I ordered a Total Immersion DVD on open water swimming. I started watching it the other day and was making mental notes about stuff I wanted to work on. I quickly realized that the open water DVD assumes you are already familiar with the Total Immersion drills, so I think I need to order a different DVD.

Anyway, I wanted to keep things simple and chose the following three things to work:

1) Mail slot entry
2) Marionette arms
3) 2-beat kick

Part of my training plan is to swim on my "off" Fridays. The morning swims always seems a little more low key. At 5am everyone just sort of does their own thing...perfect for working on technique. So, this morning I got up at my usual time and instead of playing Candy Crush, put on my swim suit and headed to Lodi with HS and Stephanie.

Just Swim

When we got to the pool, James was a little surprised to see us. He tried giving me a work out, but I said I just wanted to swim. There was just no way I was going to be able to concentrate on what I needed to work on and worry about making sets. So I just swam. I got 2,400 yards in during that hour (2,200 swimming / 200 kicking).

The mail slot entry for my hands worked well, I would give myself a B on that. The marionette arms were OK too...another B effort. The 2-beat kick...IMPOSSIBLE! F...no, actually F-minus!!!

How to do a 2-beat kick

I could not get that kick down to save my life. I am definitely going to have to work on that. I was so stumped that I was sure I must have been doing it wrong. I came home and immediately looked it up on the internet...just to see if I even had the right idea of what it was. Yup, I was right about how to do it...I am just hopelessly uncoordinated! UGH!

After watching the video a couple of times, I downloaded my Garmin data to see how bad my swim was. To my surprise, my stroke count had dropped. Looking back over the last several months, my stroke count average has been about 11. Today my stroke count average was 10 and my average lap pace was about the same as it normally is! GO FIGURE!

Now the test is going to be if I can consistently keep that count (actually I would like to see it come down a little more) and improve my speed...maybe if I figure out the 2-beat kick :-)

Friday AM Swim by tpengilly at Garmin Connect - Details