So yeah, again it hasÂ been a while since I wrote. Canada was awesome (pics here) — I even got to run from Canada to the US and back again while viewing the Niagara Falls!
My exciting news this week was a swimming breakthrough! Even when I was in the pool 3-4 times a week I was holding about 1:58-1:55/100yds on repeats. This week, in the pool I for some reason started playing with breathing. And suddenly… my sprinty (about as fast as I could go for 100s and repeat them 20sec later) 100s were in 1:47!!! And the next time I swam my 100s just strong (could keep going if I had to, and a shorter recovery) were in 1:51ish!
So what did I change? Well, I started breathing earlier in my stroke. I’m not sure how to explain it exactly, but it’s almost like as I rotate I almost let my head get a little ahead of the body roll, and I am breathing before my arm gets as far into recovery as I was.
I really have no idea what made me try that, but once I had and it was feeling good, I remembered a couple things I was once told. About two years ago I was told I was breathing too long. I tried to breath faster, and it completely didn’t work for me, and I soon decided it was fitness or something that I just didn’t have yet, and moved on to addressing other parts of my stroke. But now that I realized how much breathing earlier in the stroke helps, my guess is that I was told I was breathing too long since the person didn’t notice when I was starting, but just when I was ending.
I also got the feedback that I had a slight pause in my stroke, and that I should work on smoothing it. I could feel that, and I have worked on it, but hadn’t completely gotten rid of it. Well, with breathing earlier my whole stroke is feeling much smoother. It’s almost as if I was doing something funky in my stroke to let me get a breath in. And I no longer need to do that.
With breathing earlier I feel like my balance in the water is better throughout my stroke, and I felt so much more comfortable in the water. In addition, I’m getting a breath MUCH easier, and don’t need to breathe as often even when I’m putting out a bit higher effort.
Definitely good stuff 🙂 And something to keep me going back to the pool since I’ve found a place where I am again making progress, which is always my goal.