I’m so excited and relieved – I went to my first Master’s Swim Class and it was a very positive experience!
I was very nervous going in, and told the coach “I’m an extremely slow swimmer”. He was very nice and asked if I wanted feedback on my stroke – yes please! He said sometimes people don’t want to be bothered in Master’s, but if they do want coaching he is happy to do it. I was more than happy to get some coaching. A couple of the things I need to work on are:
- Take in more oxygen – breath every two strokes instead of every three. You can do this by just always breathing towards one side of the pool/facility.
- Improve extension – hold extended arm out (still) and take breath earlier in the stroke.
- Increase tempo – rotate arms on a faster tempo or pace.
- Improve catch & pull through – when pulling arm through water after the extension, bend at 90 degree angle instead of making an “S” shape as I tend to do. The coach said to pretend you are going to carry a barrel of wine under your arm, and almost push your elbow up. Then pull straight through.
There will be many more pointers I’m sure, but this was enough to remember for the first time. The workout went something like this:
- 5 x 50m working with coach on stroke (swimming with one arm, etc.)
- 12 x 25m on 40 seconds
- 3 sets of 3 x 50m getting progressively faster each 50m; on 1:20 min
- 3 x 100m getting progressively faster each 100m; on 2:15 min
I forgot how much counting/timing there is in swimming. In the above workout “on 40 seconds” means you have 40 seconds to complete the 25m and any additional time within the 40 seconds is for rest. It was definitely an interval workout that went by very quickly in comparison to my solo 2,000m swim workouts.
On the overall practice – it was less crowded than I imagined. The regulars were in two faster lanes. I was in the “beginner” lane with another guy that is also doing Try Andy’s Tri in two weeks. We were about the same speed, so I was glad I wasn’t slowing anyone down. At the end the coach said I was a much better swimmer than I indicated and that I could definitely improve my speed if I worked on the above items. I’m definitely going to make Master’s swim one of my weekly workouts and would recommend it to any beginners out there!