Monday, December 13, 2010

Swim Labs

Last week could be called a maintenance week, figuring out what is not ideal in my form/technique, and what needs to be fixed. This can be a frustrating time, but it's necessary to improve. One can choose to take it as discouragement, or use it to motivate. This included a bike fit at Retul in Boulder, where I learned I was riding the TT almost like a road bike, and need to be much further forward on the saddle. This new position will definitely get some taking used to. It also included an hour and a half session with my coach Melissa at Swim Labs. My swim has been my weakness this past year, and I'm often playing a bit of catch-up on race day on the bike and run. Swim Labs has 2 locations here in Denver, each with several Endless Pools when you can swim against various speeds of current and film your swim technique from many angles: above, front, side, etc. It's a must do for any serious triathlete or swimmer with less-than-perfect form in order to know where to start keeping tabs on your technique. The difficult thing is putting what you know needs change in your stroke and implementing it in swim drills and training, especially after swimming a certain way for 2 years. It will take some serious work. My main issue lies with keeping my elbows higher and bent throughout my stroke after entering the water. I have the tendency of letting my elbow drop too quickly, which creates a bit of extra drag. I also need to pull all the way through my stroke to the waist, and maintain a bit steadier kick. Lots of work to do.

Swimming is a sport where technique is critical to success, more so than biking or running in my opinion. If you form is far from perfect, work on it early, ASAP. The best way to know what is wrong is to get filmed, and have expert critique. If you're in the Denver area, I'd highly recommend going to Swim Labs for a session with one of their expert coaches. You can record a CD with video footage, and also compare it to other top swimmers side by side for critique. Swim Labs gives you the disc to take home and study for as long as you need to. Thanks to Giff and Mike for letting us work there. I've got my work cut out for me, but have no option other than using this as motivation to improve. Right when you are getting to the next level in the sport, you realize there is always much higher to go, and so many little things needing to be done to get there. The further along you are, the more important the tiny details become, and there are many of them in triathlon, since it's really 3 separate sports you can analyze. If possible, I'll try to see if I can upload some of the footage here on the blog in the next few days. Go check out Swim Labs!

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