Friday, October 10, 2008

Off to Baltimore this weekend

Maybe I'll see Michael Phelps? My friend Tanya belongs to his aquatic club so maybe I'll drop in for a swim? That would be something. I'll bring my Sharpie pen for an autograph just in case. Ha!

Back in the real world we have been doing lots of stroke work. I have been fiddling around with my entry and angle of pull, as well as my head position. I just can't seem to get used to looking down at the tiles, as Karlyn recommends, I feel like I don't know where I am going. However I do feel the difference it makes in my speed and my hips elevating more.

As far as kicking off the wall I am starting to think that maybe there is more bang for my buck by doing a solid streamline -- really squeezing my arms to my ears and thumb locking my hands together -- than there is for doing a dolphin kick. During a race, like the 425 I just did, I get so tired by the end that I am not getting extra power from the dolphin kick b/c it is not quick enough -- it actually slows me down by breaking the streamline. I am going to practice tight streamlined pushoffs instead.

And on the core strengthening goal, I hurt my back this morning doing the "plank" -- a nifty exercise that my Tri friend Carrie taught me. It is like an immobilized pushup, you "rest" on your forearms and hold the raised pushup pose for 60 seconds. Sounded good. I tried 15 seconds on the side of the pool. Since two hours later my back has been in agony. Ugh. I think I better start slow with crunches. And as for the "wheel of torture" that John recommended... hmmmm.... I think I'll wait on that too. If anyone has any other good core exercises to start slowly with, let me know!


Ange said...

I hope Baltimore is fun Alina.
I have always thought you had the most amazing stroke...I can't believe you feel the need to tweak it. Now, what does this woman say about head placement. Why are you lowering it and looking down? I was always taught that a high head placement was best...less drag for ex.
I agree about the dolphin kick so far too...I get so tired making it efficient. I can do it a few times but then I'm done.

Nitsirk said...

I also struggle with looking down when I swim. I think it comes from doing a lot of open water swimming where you need to look where you are going. I am always afraid I am going to run into something when I am looking at the tiles. I think I keep my head down about 2 strokes a length :) Jeanette is always after me about it!

IronMatron said...

Have fun in Baltimore! Hope Maria treats you well! :)
I go faster off the wall streamline with a strong flutter kick. I think I just don't have the strength to do the dolphin kick as it's supposed to be done.
miss you.

Swimming for ME said...

You are too nice Ange. You know Don gave me some pointers last week. Seems like I need to streamline more. I felt like I was 17 again -- in a wierd way, not a good way.
About putting your head down, Karlyn says it raises your hips which then creates less drag. Keeping the water at your hairline is the OLD way apparently. I just can't shake it though cause I feel like I will crash into the wall. Might work for long course?