I’ve always loved swimming, but for some reason can only “figure it out” in very short stretches — and rarely remember what I’ve discovered.  Sometimes it feels easy, but way too often it sends my pulse through the roof.

Today at the lake was one of those days when everything clicked.  I just hope I can remember this stuff.

The Pool Tricks You

It’s very hard for me to relax in a pool, but today I was completely chill as I glided through a 7-800 yard warm up in the lake.  It felt amazing from the beginning:  I eased in, found a groove, and just kept going.

In between the drills that followed, it dawned on why a pool feels different.  Likely because I’m always turning around then scrambling to re-find the stroke I just found.

I guess I knew that, but the even bigger discovery is this: Short laps in a pool have a tendency to deceive me into thinking I’m close to the end, which subconsciously pushes me to “finish” each length.  I think this totally explains how I can occasionally be gassed after my first 200 meters.

Not only that, if you think about it, swimming in a pool is like running a 5k on a football field by doing 50 laps to the back of the end zone and back.  It would probably be a great workout, but tough to find a running rhythm.

Swimming is Not Diving

Every time I hit the pool, there is always some A-hole effortlessly gliding by while I fight the water.  I’ve always suspected drag and it finally occurred to me that I may be diving too deep on my entrance.  Ie… my hand goes too far down after it hits the water.  That pretty much means my entire arm, shoulder, head, and chest go under water, which is not good when you’re trying to stay on top of it.

I’ve heard that a lot of people do this because it “feels like” they are working more productively.  But we’re fighting the water and it’s really hard to get a higher stroke count because you’re pulling with far more force than necessary.

So, I focused on keeping my hand and elbow higher in the water, which can also be a problem because you get sucked into “gliding,” so I made sure to work a quick stroke count.  It seemed to click and I was moving smoothly with a quick and effective pull.  The best part was, it also felt easier to keep my breathing under control.

Lake Water Feels Better

Cialis-Bathtub-Commercial-380x227Is it just me or does walking into a lake on a warm summer morning feel like a Cialis commercial?

The very second my to hit the water, I felt like a different person.  Something about the fresh air and the water being in tune with nature changed my entire perspective.

Being in a lake is like exploring.  No rope, no concrete, and no chlorine.  The sun re rejuvenates your body with each stroke and I honestly feel like lake water forms around your body differently.  Like it’s not as heavy or something.

New Gear is Like Crack

As a bonus I wore my new ROKA SIM shorts and they really felt nice.  They simulate the effect of a pull buoy, but let you swim naturally.

For some reason new gear always pumps you up and I can really see how they will help me learn to relax and get a better rotation in the water.  If you decide to get some, please let them know Crushing Iron sent you.

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Photo by Sarah Shearer

 

 

 

4 Things I Learned About Swimming Today

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