Tuesday, March 06, 2007

More Miscellaneous Ramblings

I’m supposed to be working on my next post regarding free weights and home gyms but find myself at the stage where the various pros and cons concerning the subject matter need to be discussed and its construction too taxing in my present mental state. Neither is there much desire to write about the extraordinary talent of Michael Phelps’ and his ilk given my present swimming struggles. This normally means I simply go on to start writing about the next planned topic, my sister American Sis and her particular athletic talent, but here again the subject’s a touch too similar to Phelps’ situation so she’s not going to be written about either right now. I’ll just ramble on a bit instead. The past couple of practices Coach Brad has given me some individually timed distances at race pace and followed up with some pointers on my technique which has helped a lot. I’ve developed a psychological block about my swimming because of the real uncertainty regarding my speed and endurance and these timed runs are helping establish a reference point for better pacing and thereby faster times while still (most importantly) leaving enough to finish. For certain my present endurance is clearly not ready for racing beyond 100 meters. Unfortunately equally certain is my swimming the 200 back this weekend in Victoria as this meet is the first of only two opportunities to swim long course this entire season. After observing my sprints Brad has instructed me to put more shoulder roll into my backstroke while reminding me at the same time to take a shallower stroke and concentrate on my pull technique, all things I haven’t been working on because of the precipitous drop in my swimming kilometrage. Wanting to put his coaching into practice I showed up at the Canada Games Pool this Saturday and put in a short workout, my first weekend practice in a month. In addition to doing a backstroke ladder for my main set I threw in a quick set of 6 x 50 fly to try out Ian’s advice to stop breathing every stroke. The shoulders are still sore. I think there must be something about swimming fly flatter which impedes a body’s undulation and consequently creates additional stress on the shoulder, but perhaps it’s just my body mechanics which are off. Regardless a lot more practice is going to be required to better integrate the single breath/double pull into my fly. Despite the gloom there are some good things happening. I’m finding my wind is coming back however slowly, as is my ‘feel’ for the water. Together the two are like a warm, well-worn blanket I can hold on to. Like the “Little Engine that Could” I have to keep on saying to myself, “I think I can, I think I can” and maybe one of these days it’ll come true.


Joe said...

Something that has really helped me to swim pain-free fly (well, over 50 meters anyway) has been my rotator cuff strengthening exercises. I can show you the 3 different movements if you like. You can start with 2 pounds and then move up to 5 or even 10 pounds.

Scott said...

I'll take you up on that. Thanks Joe!