Just a quick post to say Merry Christmas to all of you! Enjoy a good break, indulge in food and here’s to a great 2010!
Apologies this has taken so long to put up, but I was waiting to find out to see if I could have the video of me in the pool. Unfortunately as there are kids in the pool Child Protection Regulations have stopped me from being to upload it.
Anyway, the results. Well I am not as bad a swimmer as I thought! After a warm up and some drills I was given a few pointers to work on and soon I was gliding nicely through the pool. It turns out my catch is actually pretty good, despite what I originally thought and I have a good body position in the water. The similarities between rowing and swimming are amazingly close, and how I didn’t notice it before is beyond me!
The two things I worked on were rolling my body properly and getting full extension of my arms so I had a longer stroke, and to stop my arms from crossing (as ever!). The full extension was easy enough to get, but months of subconscious crossing proved more difficult. The video analysis showed that when I am swimming normally I don’t cross my arms any more and have a nice straight pull. The problem occurs when I take a breath when my limbs go AWOL. My opposite arm follow my body rotation and crosses over the centre line and my legs have a nice quirky flick out the side. To be fair, the leg flick wasn’t actually too bad, but I need to concentrate on the arm. It also explains why I end up veering off course when Open Water swimming as I only breathe on one side. This gives me two things to work on. I need to concentrate on my arm to stop it crossing over, and I also need to work on my bilateral breathing for training, which should just even everything out. It is getting better, I just get tired a lot quicker, so have to save it for easier work and persist.
So I have a few drills to work on, and technique pointers to concentrate on, which should improve my swimming gradually but I need a way to measure it. We did a lot of work on pacing, and experimenting with stroke rate and I ended up swimming with a lower stroke rate, which proved more efficient. We had a bit of a play with stroke golf (where you add time to stroke count, to work out how efficient you are) and found almost flat out with good technique, I am only one number down when I swim at my lower natural rate pushing hard. If I can if I can find a local squad this should improve my speed and I will also invest in some pool tools to speed myself up.
My 100m TT was 1:24 with good technique so I am going to work towards sub 1:20 and do lots of short distance sets (like 20 x 100m on 2:00 mins) to keep my technique. Once I am below 1:20 I can work towards a sub 3-min 200m, and then once I can comfortably do this I can work towards a sub 4:30 300m in a few months and then a sub 6 min 400m. Once I can do this well enough I can increase the distance swam at once, making sure the technique is kept. For a 1:05 hour IM swim I am going to need to be swimming 1:42/100m pace which I can do fine at the moment, I just cant hold it. Once I have picked my speed up I can increase distances working towards my target pace. Obviously the wetsuit will help a lot, but if I can swim a 1:05:00 in the pool then it will be very happy.
So work to do, but a big thanks to Streamlined Swimming and Elliot for an excellent session, highly recommended!
Well, okay, maybe the title is slightly misleading…. but in a slight brag, I got a personal good luck tweet from the one and only Chrissie Wellington! To get a message from somone like her, one of the 8 British World Champion triathletes we have this year is humbling to say the least! Easily the best triathlete this country has at the moment (followed closely by Brownlee, though as Philip Graves has said, an Olympic Distance triathlon isn’t a proper triathlon…) for her sheer dominance in the sport. Unbeaten in Ironmans, Female Iron Distance World Record, Hawaii Course World Record… to not even make the shortlist for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year is a disgrace, especially if it was truly about personality as well as achievements, as anyone who knows an ounce about Chrissie will testify, she does a lot for the sport, for charity and does she ever stop smiling?!? (Has Andy Murray actually won anything yet? And Ryan Giggs?!?!) Anyway, I am not here to moan about how our minority sport has not made the front page every World Championship we win…
I am hoping that “good luck with training” message I got from her will give me a good kick up the backside. The last few days have resulted in zero training due to a variety of reasons, with doing long hours at work eating up time and sleep, and life in general (well, Christmas celebrations) getting in the way. I just need to get out the door quicker before I get distracted! I have also been hit by a tooth infection, which gave me a bit of a one-sided hamster cheek thing going on and stopped me eating for a while (not good) so have spent a couple of days registering with a dentist, sat in dental emergency waiting rooms and pharmacies. I am now on a course of antibiotics which will sort it, and should help me get rid of the cold I have picked up as my body complains about the lack of sleep. On the plus side, the antibiotics remove any temptation to drink at the multiple Christmas parties I have coming up in the next week, which will make weekend training a bit easier! A week and a half left of work before Christmas before I can get some decent training, sleep and down time with the girlfriend.
It hasn’t all been doom and gloom though. Despite missing a few days of training, my fitness is coming back quite quickly and I am already feeling good on the bike again, and even have my feel coming back in the pool! Running is taking a bit longer with only 1 standalone run a week at the mo, though as I introduce a couple more this will get better.
Tonight I am off for a four hour intensive swim course at Streamlined Swimming over in Fleetwood. Although my swimming is adequate, I am nowhere near the level I was pre-crash, and not near the level I want to be. I am hoping to come in around 1 hour 5-10 for Switzerland (based on my 54 min 3k time trial at my best) and am going to need a lot of work, including getting rid of bad habits and getting more drills to work on my specific weaknesses, which is what I want to achieve from this course. Unfortunately Preston don’t seem to have a Masters Swim group, so I may have to head over to Blackpool or the far side of Preston to the tri club, but I definitely found it made a massive improvement to my swimming when I was with Man Tri. Something to sort out in the new year.
I am hoping to nap a copy of myself swimming from the course tonight, and if I can will put it on youtube, if I’m not too embarassed by it! Will definitely put a post about it up over the next few days.
(In Chrissie Style) Smiles!
Well seen as this website is mainly about getting to Kona, I thought I would outline how I actually plan to achieve that.
Currently I have IM Switzerland lined up for July, which is my main race this season (2009/2010) and then after that race, I go back to uni. Whilst this allows me more training time, it does mean that I will be again lacking an income so my IM races in 2011 are going to be seriously limited. By the looks of it I will probably do IMUK again as it will be the cheapest for me to do. Although it will be my third year racing Ironmans (assuming I stay on track), and the course favours my strengths, chances of qualification are very, very slim. Unless slots increase dramatically, there will be one slot, so I will either need to win my age group, or get extremely lucky with the roll-down, even if I have the perfect race.
After this year, I will (hopefully!) be back in a job earning money, so unless stuff comes up I will move to 2 IMs a year, and will probably race Lanzarote in May, seen as it has a killer bike course and I can cope with heat quite well. This will be my B Ironman race of the year, as main qualification race of 2012 will be IM Wisconsin. This course favours my strong cycling and is not especially hot. More importantly, being a big American race, the number of slots will be 2 or 3 depending on the number of entries in M18-24. This will give me a far greater chance of qualifying, and with another year of IMs in my legs, I should be placing higher up.
If I don’t qualify then, I will return the year later, as well as doing another early season IM. If I do qualify, then obviously 2013 willl be all about IM Hawaii. I will also probably do a Challenge race, possibly Roth. After 2013, I move up an age group! So thats my plan, but plans do never seem to do what you want…