Last weekend at Loveland Lake to Lake my mother in law Marla watched me swim. She is a great swimmer, as is Troy (taught by her) and I'm always curious how good swimmers think I am swimming. After the race she talked to me about how my head was very deep in the water and that it might behoove me to try to get my head up. Today I had three laps in the pond, which is a lot. It's approximately 5700 yards or meters, you choose, it's open water so it kinda depends on how you swim it. My PR for one length of the pond is somewhere in the 18 minute range. I have trouble swimming straight...
So, I decided that today I would give Marla's advise a try. It took some getting used to and each length of the pond I just kept working on it a little more. The first thing I noticed was that my awareness in the water increased by about 200%. Suddenly I was aware of who was going by me, who I was going by, what was happening on shore and which direction I was swimming. The second thing I noticed was that I was swimming straight. I was able to take little mini sights more often. I found it much easier to take a breath and my breaths were more relaxed. The last thing I noticed was that I was getting to the other side of the pond faster. 20 min is normal for me, maybe 21-22 if I'm tired. Today 19 minutes was common and then 18. On the last length I still felt very strong whereas I am usually tuckered out by the last length of a three lap day. Tony had caught me and we swam the last length together. I decided to hit the crono on my watch to just see what I would swim on the way back and it turned out to be a very unexpected 16:48. This is the fastest I have ever swam a length in the pond, I was not winded and I could have done 2 more laps. Now, my mantra for swimming is "Stop expecting progress and start enjoying the process", so the times are cool, but definitely not anything I'm going to get excited about just yet. More exciting for me was that awareness in the water. It made such a difference to not swim along with my chin to my chest, whole head submerged. I enjoyed it more because my sight wasn't buried in the deep brown of the pond. So, I'm a little excited for the sheer enjoyment factor.
Tonight I got online to research the head position thing a little more. My feelings about swimming remain unchanged: EVERYONE HAS DIFFERENT ADVISE.
Here is Dave Scott saying "The head must be straight down".
And here is the Thorpedo with his eyes looking forward
And here is a great video telling you to "Do it what ever way works for you". Now there is some advise!
So, again, no real answers, just more learning. Thank goodness my new mantra for swimming is "Stop expecting progress, start enjoying the process".
And in tribute to the swimming video research, here is my running advise: "Run whatever way makes you faster". That helped, didn't it?