On Saturday, I went over to Hampton Outdoor Pool in West London for a workshop run by Tridynamic with Dan Bullock from Swim For Tri. I went to Tenerife in February for a week's swim camp earlier this year and gained an enormous amount (as well as having a wonderful time with lovely people), and since I know that my stroke has dropped off recently, I was keen to get a little top up that will tide me over until Swim Camp 2013 and to see where I am currently going wrong.
The purpose of the workshop was two-fold. Firstly to practice some key drills which can really improve FC (if done correctly). Secondly to be filmed from three angles to identify things that can be improved. And I suppose thirdly to have a good afternoon!
Firstly the drills. We were encouraged to use central snorkels and fins. This is pretty new to me because my pool doesn't let you use "toys" for health and safety reasons which is annoying as one particular drill that I've been struggling with since last February was so much easier with them! We practiced the torpedo drill, extension drill, and then built into advanced single arm drill (the one I've been struggling with). I think there may have been some other drills along the way but you can hardly take notes whilst in the pool. As there were 12 of us, in 2 lanes of a 36.5m pool, we were able to swim along the black line, which really helps with thinking about body position.
Secondly, the filming. I was a little bit disappointed with how I looked (despite being told by the other Martin who had come along to shadow Dan that he thought my stroke looked good). My head remains a bit too high (which is something I was aware of). My kick is rather bigger than I thought it was although not as bad as it used to be. So, two things to try to work on there. What was also interesting was with my arms. They look ok at the start but go very wide as they get to the hips. More of an issue on my right side, which may explain why I've been having right-sided shoulder pain again.
Anyway, so you can judge for yourself, Dan has kindly uploaded my video to YouTube! (Everyone on the workshop was going to get a CD of footage with voice commentary sent to them afterwards as with a group of 12, there wasn't really time to look at everyone in detail). I'm not quite sure how to embed a video, but you can have a look here.
Photo credits: Martin Boddie.