Monday 14 October 2013

Two swimming milestones

Whilst my legs seem fragile I'm making an effort at the swimming to try to maintain or even build fitness. How much is transferable between the disciplines is very debatable but at least I'm keeping busy.

This evening I've passed two milestones. First, I've been able to swim 3 continuous lengths, a grand total of 100 yards. Not a great deal I admit, but it is a step up from last weeks 2 lengths. The instructor had been encouraging me to go slowly and today I set off with a very stable, slow stroke and a goal. I managed this a few times and thought I could have managed a bit more so hopefully I'll be able to progressively increase the continuous distance now.

Second, I wanted to start on bilateral breathing so as to make my stroke more symmetrical (I have potential shoulder problems as indicated by previous events) and as a base for any future open water swimming; should I ever want to do that. The instructor encouraged me to just try it. After all, I can touch the bottom of the pool anywhere if I don't manage. First time I managed a fair first breath and a gulp of water for the second; a good job it's all the shallow end at this pool! Then I achieved a few lengths with a nice 3 stroke cycle. The left breath feels more awkward than the right and I don't think it was as effective but that's how my breathing was on the right just a few months ago. Many websites suggest all sorts of drills to introduce this technique but after all the nervousness it didn't seem too bad!

I didn't quite manage 2 continuous lengths of this pattern but I was tired by then. That can be next week's goal. Of course, a 3 stroke cycle risks more gas transport problems (oxygen debt or carbon dioxide buildup) but I think I can cope with that at my new-found cautious speed.

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