Monday, 10 December 2007

Swimming session

This evening Kelly and I headed off to our second session of swim training for the triathlon. I was quite organised today, remembering to bring everything except I needed except for a comb. We were given yellow caps last week. I don't remember wearing a swimming cap before. It felt really odd, but I quickly got used to it.

We gathered for the initial briefing, where we were asked what the three key things we learned last week were. I had no idea! They were stay balanced in the water, swim from side to side not flat on our stomachs, and stay long.

There were only four people in my group today. We started off with a 5 minute warm up where we were allowed to swim anything but freestyle. I quite enjoyed this. Breaststroke is my favourite swimming stroke. We then went over the lessons from last week. I swallowed some water and ended up having to stop to cough! I wasn't the only one.

Once we'd done that we added in an extra stroke to the roll over. It was kind of like swimming freestyle, except that we were pausing in between strokes while we got our breath back. We then tried stringing a few roll overs together. Eventually we were swimming up and down the pool. It was amazing. It was so much easier than the freestyle I was doing the other day. Instead of being face down in the water we were rolling from side to side and our legs were kicking on an angle rather than up and down. We were breathing steadily out through our mouths and noses between breaths. Apparenly that keeps swimming aerobic instead of anaerobic. I was really surprised by how much easier it was to swim like that.

After that we did an exercise where we swam half way down the pool with our hands as fists. That was to teach us to use our forearms to propel us through the water instead of just our arms. I was amazed again. In fact, the word for today is "amazing". We then worked on lifting our elbows high out of the water. I'm making the description of the action sound simpler than it is, but it's kind of hard to describe it without a picture. I really did notice a difference when I was swimming when I lifted my elbows and used my whole arm instead of just my hand.

I was surprised to find myself swimming faster than the others. I automatically expect to be slower than everyone else so I wait for the others to start before me, but I kept catching them up and having to wait for them to get ahead again. Eventually I started swimming off first.

My cardio fitness soon showed, as the others were getting tired and swimming fewer laps. I just kept on going - it seemed easier than running 10 km. :-) By the end of the session I was the only one in the group still swimming. Even the instructor had wandered off.

I was wearing my HRM again. I definitely had a better calorie burn happening tonight - 344 calories in 65 mins, max HR 147. I've no idea how far I swam tonight. I know I did at least 30 laps of 25 metres. We have to cover 400m in the triathlon, so I know I can make it. All I have to do now is practise! Oh, and learn more about swimming efficiently. If I can see this much improvement in two lessons what will I be like after six? Woohoo!

Mind you, I felt last week's swimming sessions for days, so I figure I'll be feeling this one as well. I did get a few cramps in my calves while I was swimming. I managed to relax enough to be able to ignore them, but they were a nuisance. I haven't got the habit of taking the magnesium tablets every day. I'll have to make more of an effort to remember.

On the bike front, I've totally wimped out on changing my pedals over. I'll have to psyche myself up to it.

Tomorrow I have the outdoor group fitness challenge in the morning and then I'm running in the Parliament House Relay in the evening with a team of people from 1-2-1 Personal training. We each have to run 1.6 km. It should be fun. We'll be running near Questacon, so it will be pretty too.


kathrynoh said...

You swimming champ! Must feel great to be learning so much.

Andrew(ajh) said...

Sounds like some real progress in the pool !

Krissi said...

Get those pedals on....big sooky la, la :)