Monday, June 05, 2006


It's no "Tuesdays with Morrie", but I'm no novelist either.

Today was my first bike ride with someone other than Chad. It was an OK ride - 10.81 miles in 53:37; max speed 16.7 mph. Now that I have met my length goal, I need to whittle down the time - by 20 or 30 MINUTES!

OK, I'm not psycho. I know that it is going to be hard going to reduce my time by that much on the 10 miles in 2 months, but I have to have goals. :)

I have been talking with a guy at work to help me with my swim. He told me to really lengthen my stroke and slow it down as much as I can & take it all the way through my hip. Also, I want to keep my head below the water, unless I am taking a breath. I hope this is right....he says that he's in a master swimmer club here in town. Tomorrow, I'll try to put it to practice in the 50m pool.

Maybe my new workout buddy will want to jog/walk with me tomorrow? It is hard to get a time for Chad & me to do it together.


Bridgette said...

I wanted to point out that if you didn't know what Tuesdays with Morrie is, you definitely need to hit the library or Borders and get it!!

Joe said...

Head position is really, really important. If your head is too high in the water (for example, if you are staring directly at the far end of the pool), your lower body will sink, creating lots of frontal resistance (your neck will hurt too!).

To correct this, focus on looking at the bottom of the pool. You can experiment with where you look. For example, try looking straight down at the bottom. Then try looking down and slightly forward (maybe a 3 feet in front of you). See which one feels better. While you don't want to high a position, you also don't want too low a position. Don't bury your head. That will cause frontal resistance too. Just think about keeping a neutral head position (i.e. head, spine and hips all aligned).

Breathing technique is important too. You actually don't need to lift your head out of the water to breathe because the water resistance of your head will create a little trough below the water line for you to breathe in.

Also, you don't need to turn your head very much to breathe. If you are taking long strokes and reaching far in front of you, your body will naturally turn to side with each stroke.

If you can handle it, try breathing every third stroke so that you learn to breathe on both sides. This is critical to having a balanced, symmetrical stroke.

Bridgette said...

Thanks Joe! I am trying to keep my entire head slightly below the water's surface...not just my face. I can do the 3rd stroke thing on the first couple laps, but then its back to old faithful. I have ordered the TI book Triathlon Swimming: Made Easy from Borders & am so anxious to get it!

I think my biggest problem is that I mentally beat myself. I try to take it slow & really concentrate on form, then I see the 1/2 way mark on the bottom of the pool & think CRAP.... I really think I need to work on the neutral head position because when I breathe on my left I feel like I have to really break form to do it. If what you say is true then it shouldn't take that much effort....(not that I think you're lying)