Shaping an unshapely vessel- ME


Everything about my vessel here is wrong…

Swimming is 97% technique, 3% energy according to Terry Loughlin of Total Immersion Swimming fame. Therefore it makes sense to spend a considerable amount of time perfecting and refining swimming technique which basically means I have to take my unshapely body and turn it into a shark-like torpedo machine.

I went swimming again today as it’s the one discipline that actually scares me. I have to swim in open water when I compete in triathlons which is very different from swimming in the pool. The biggest difference which sends shivers up my spine is the fact that the more I swim out in the open deeper the ocean floor gets. There is no way to rest and recover and I can picture myself panicking which is not advisable to do when there are hundreds of other swimmers around me.

I managed to count how many strokes I need to complete the 50m length of the pool. It’s about 60 strokes which brings me to 1 min 40 secs per 50m tonight. I don’t know if it’s a good or bad. It’s just the level I am performing in my current shape. I did notice though that mu heart rate is way up in the 80% MHR range which is not the best place to be for me. I need to be swimming at the 70% range if I want to maintain swimming for extended periods of time (and therefore avoid the issue of resting mid way through the swim altogether).

The biggest challenge I had today was relaxing. My body is so tense and i can feel myself struggling in the water. I think there were 3 reasons why I got so tense:

1. I focus on counting instead of focussing on my form
2. I focus too much on wanting to go faster
3. I focus on stretching my body

I’m going to try again tomorrow and this time instead of focussing on the 3 things above, I should just focus on hitting a spot in front of me when I drive my hand through. No thought of speed or tempo at this time. I just need to make sure the technique becomes second nature to me.

I did managed to barely swim 400m today before I felt tired (actually I felt tired at 200m but I just forced myself through it). Shaping the vessel is important in swimming and I am determined to do it. More drills before I actually start swimming lengths again. What speed I do it or how many stroked I do it is not as important tat the moment. When I gain consistency then those things will start to matter.

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