12/03/2013 by Carl Reynolds
Mrs Ape and I would have done our usual lido/indoor combo, but the traffic in sarf Londun this morning was snarly, thick and uninviting. So we dropped the hop-a-long boy off at school and turned left into Crystal Palace. We had a cake for the lido, but alas it didn’t get any further than my cake ‘ole! I’ll bring the remnants tomorrow.
After my first 5K in a while yesterday, I thought I’d take it easy. I had the fast lane to myself for the first hour and was then joined by someone slightly slower than me – about a metre or so every hundred. I was musing about the butterfly at the time and thinking about how the body movement brings the arms over – there being no need to push the arms over so to speak. So I thought, “why not apply this to crawl?”. Swinging a little more from the hips and resisting pulling my arms over I just let them rise and fall into the water. They went in a little curved, but the pull was easier and the breath stroke was easier. And I instantly realised I was mostly just using my back muscles and not the shoulders. And (lots of ands) I started gaining 3 metres per 100 on my co-lane swimmer. Reader, I was ecstatic. And then I thought, why haven’t the people I’ve paid good money to give me coaching pointed this out to me?
Over the next few days I’m going to see if I can’t refine it a little more, but it seems I’ve hit my sweet spot. Which may not be yours. The lesson being, if you’re after some coaching, you need a coach who can adapt, not only to different learning styles, but who is also undogmatic about approach to the stroke. As my new approach seems, so far, to be less of a strain, I’m going to save the money for massage, physio and sea swimming.