Sunday, April 12, 2009

Bowdoin swim clinic: Waltzing through the water

Apparently I never knew. Swimming is kind of like waltzing through the water. We swam to a 1-2 underwater metronome at the Bowdoin Clinic. At first he had us swimming at 20 cycles per minute- very slow. Hard to even move continuously. 30 per minute was more my pace. After a lengthy lecture on how to go fast on a bike (a description that flew completely over my head and was geared for all the triathletes in the audience), the analogy to swimming was made.

To go fast -- the only way -- is either to increase cycles per minute (cadence or tempo) OR distance per stroke. That's it.

All that fancy stuff -- be it suits, new techniques, weights, cords -- only make you faster if they affect tempo or distance per stroke.

And to think all I did before was just decide to "go fast". Intuitively I knew this but had never thought about it. So for that alone I think the clinic was helpful.

We also got to swim on video several times to look at our body position and technique. Coach Brad said I need to pull in my core more and tighten my butt muslces (do I have any?) and lengthen my stroke. He also said I was an "advanced" swimmer... Zach was jealous...haha.

But really the best part was swimming in a different pool with Deb, Kathy, Adrian, John, John G., Zach, & Son and just having fun with it all. That's what it's all about.

Here's what I want to try next..... getting towed.


IronMatron said...

I think you'd need to improve distance per stroke if anything, b/c your cadence is already so fast@! That's just like the bike--of course. You either speed up the cadence or increase the power. Preferably both.
The one thing about technique in the pool, though, is not just that it helps improve cadence or dps, but also that you are able to do more (ie higher cadence/dps) without fatiguing as quickly. Not tiring (esp in endurance stuff) is super important.

Swimming for ME said...

That's what he said... lengthen my stroke. I like the way you can talk the technical talk!

Wendy said...

Oh, yes! I'd like to swim downhill, too!

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