Nov 29, 2007

Near-drowning experience

My brother Matt joined me at Master's swimming this morning in the Suffield pool. This was his first experience with structured swim training and I'm guessing an eye-opener for him. After a couple attempts at flip-turns he decided to just use an open turn at the wall. I definitely could feel his pain, they are not easy if you've never done them before. Then after a nice long freestyle set which was doable but tiring, he experienced the joys of kick sets!

Kicking the length of the pool using a kickboard to hold up your head doesn't sound too bad when you describe it, but the agonizing burn in your quads, calves and ankles is a different experience. He also got the full "uphill last 3 yards" thrill as your momentum stalls and every kick seems to bring you no closer to the end. He gutted it out though, took a couple short breaks but kept going. I'm sure he will appreciate it more when he's climbing up and down ladders today at work!

Finally, we wrapped up the fun with a 50 backstroke / 50 freestyle set. This would be my third time doing backstroke in a workout and his first. The coach felt pretty bad for us I could tell, but offered some very good advice on positioning and form. I could immediately feel a tremendous difference, the only problem was that my legs were so shot that I had trouble implementing it. After completing the 50 meters of backstroke we would immediately go to 50 meters of freestyle, and I felt like I was going to go under and not be able to come back up. I was completed toasted after the backstroke laps and probably appeared drunk as I struggled down the lane. We were schedule to do 10 reps by the coach, which was changed to 8 in the interest of time and ultimately ended at 5. The last one she had us use a pull-bouy which helped a lot because I could take some focus off of my legs and concentrate on the upper body but I was so exhausted it was difficult to make progress.

Still in all, a fun swim, it was nice to feel a challenge again, it had been getting a bit stale with just freestyle sets. We'll see if my brother ever shows up again though :)


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