...including 7 swims in 7 days and feedback from filming.
(How's that for an alliterative subheading?).
This week I feel I've made real progress in the pool. I've worked hard on my technique over the last 6-8 weeks with the Tridynamic Winterworkshop swim camp afternoon giving it a real boost. Coach Dan Bullock writes about 7 swims in 7 days (see here), and how this is key to delivering big improvements, and I think he's right. Since my legs haven't been up to running again post-race, I've decided to go for 7 swims in 7 days (haven't quite managed the pattern of the 7 sessions that he suggests, but I've certainly mixed it out a bit doing drills as well as longer swims) and today completed the 6th of the 7. It's nice to have a good run of training - it feels like life was back in April before I entered too many swim races and then took up Tri - I can really feel the influence on my swimming.
My swims have been partly influenced by getting my DVD feedback from the swim training a fortnight ago which has voice over the video that I shared on my blog. I felt pleased that Dan was complimentary about quite a lot of my stroke, particularly the body position because that is something key to get right, and no point really working on some of the more peripheral things until that is right. There are two key areas for improvement:
1. As I mentioned before, there is an issue with my right arm not coming close enough to my body, particularly when I breathe.
2. I need to try to develop an earlier catch so that my forearm is vertical for longer, thus enabling me to pull myself through the water better and be most efficient.
It's been easyish to focus on number 1, although I need to try to develop the strength in my right arm a bit (watch out for a blog on stretch cords, once I've managed to find somewhere in the house to use them...); number 2 is a bit more difficult. Dan today recommended to me a couple of drills for improving this (thumb catch and catch) which I shall give a go, as I'm definitely convincing myself of the crucial importance of drills to training.
This morning I swam 1k, and then decided to swim 400/500m time trials. I was swimming up to 500m for completeness, but was really mainly interested in the 400m time. I didn't rest much between the three 400/500ms that I did, just to let the other swimmers get to a position in the lane where they weren't going to get in my way, so I was pleased to hit 6:18, 6:08, 6:08 for the three swims (with the first one definitely being slowed by getting stuck behind a swimmer on the last 2 lengths). I'm pleased with both the times (the last times I've measured, I've swum in the range of 6:15-6:30) and the consistency.
There's a long way to go still, and I'd love to hit 6 minutes in the pool for 400m; I know that I can do it outside because otherwise I wouldn't be able to get the times that I do for 1500m! Not sure if tumble turns would speed me up or slow me down right now, but with practice they should speed me up, and I still need to get my stroke improved because I did feel that it was sloppy towards the end of each 400m this morning, and especially in the last 400m,.