Back to the Pool Part 3: Shark Fin!

Today’s pool workout:

I did 250m of warm-up, then moved into 3 sets of 100m going from easy to medium to hard pace with 30 seconds to a minute between sets.

I completed the first set in 2:15, forgot to time the second set, and finished the third set in 1:52.

Then I moved on to the technical kicking drills.  I did 6x50m of the side kick drill (described in the link).  It’s lucky I found another description of the technique as I had been putting one arm ‘in front’ of my body as in, in front of my chest last time, rather than ‘in front’ as in, the direction of travel.  If you ever find swim training advice, make sure instructions are given relative to the pool, water or your direction of travel.  Swimming is a three-dimensional exercise – ‘up’, ‘down’ and ‘in front’ don’t mean much without a frame of reference.

Doing the sets 50m at a time rather than 25m at a time was taxing on the breathing, but I liked that: I noticed that my stroke count went down most likely due to taking breaths less frequently (every 4th left-right stroke pair rather than every 3rd), so training my lungs to get by with fewer breaths might pay off.

From there I did 12×25 of the ‘Shark Fin’ drill (also described in the link).  As I brought my hand up to the goggle line (it felt more like a military salute than a shark fin, to be honest), I found myself sinking well below the surface like my friend the whale shark over here.  I think that might be the point: your body should stay near the surface even as your arm moves up and out of the water for your next ‘catch’.  If your stroke causes you to bob up and down in the water, it’s not efficient.

The kicking drills took up a lot of time, so that I only got 850m worth of swimming in the 45 minutes I could afford on the workout.  Still, one of the things I’m discovering is that they give a great core burn, especially the obliques.  I’m all for strengthening my core, which not only makes my swim more efficient/powerful but should help stave off the injuries, be they triathlon or fatherhood related.
 

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