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.