A bit of a christmas treat this afternoon. My dad did not want all of his swim coaching session so he managed to arrange a 1 hour video analysis session for me. Well it was my first time in an endless pool, and it was odd at first but I seemed to get on with it pretty quickly. It's a bit like trying to draft someone really.
After a brief warm up and initial anaylsis it was time to critique my stroke. Apparently I'm wasting a lot of my power. I'm bending my arm by pushing my elbow out to the side, which uses the shoulder muscle and not the stronger pec and upper back muscles. Also my very catch-up style stroke is not that good, so I need to work on reducing the time spent gliding. So I was given a pull buoy and a set of hand paddles to work my arms, and got better by focussing on pulling deeper. Although that then highlighted the fact that I wasn't completing my stroke. My elbow was leading my hand out the water and a bit to the side. So it was time to swim concentrating on brushing my legs with the thumb as it came past. With that done it was time to address the fact I was wasting the first bit of my catch by brings my hands out. So a focus on pushing down was required. This also had the effect of cementing the deeper, less bent elbow.
I've got a couple of drills I should have a go out now, fists and shark fin/float touch, and a whole load of things to think about while swimming:
1. Push down at the start of the catch, this felt easiest by dropping the wrist initially.
2. Don't bend the arms so much, stop wasting the power, use fist drill to get the feel for this.
3. Complete the stroke, push right to the back so the hand exits first, use shark fin/float touch to parctice this
4. Relax the shoulders, especially on the right side
5. Move away from catch up style, this should improve my body role too.
So it will be back to the pool to get practising next week. This will no doubt involve a fair bit of discomfort as I build up some muscles, hopefully it will make me faster though. Video analysis is well worth it though. If i'm lucky I may get another go at it some time.