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Swimming Laps

Posted 11/6/2008 3:26pm by Eugene Wyatt.
Now that the weather becomes too cold and too wet to ride my bike comfortably, I swim laps at the high school pool of the Warwick Wildcats 4 nights a week from 8:30-10:00 PM.  Go Cats!

I like to swim; I was captain of my high school's swimming team.  Since then, almost everywhere I've lived I've found a place to swim.  I've swum in the pools of San Francisco, Paris France (a swimmer's paradise: 50 meter pools in every arrondisement), Manhattan and now I swim upstate.   In Ibiza I swam in the sea.
Even though I'm a good swimmer, this September I took a private lesson from Total Immersion in an Endless Pool at their facility in New Paltz.   If you know something about swimming you will appreciate the novel approach to swimming the front crawl as advanced by coach Terry Laughlin founder of Total Immersion:
  • Achieve balance by "cooperating with gravity" - relaxing the head into an aligned position and using the leading arm like a "trim tab" (fingers down and wrist below elbow from the moment of entry). This helps bring the legs into a horizontal position with minimal kicking.
  • "Actively streamline" the body throughout the stroke cycle through a focus on rhythmically alternating "streamlined right side" and "streamlined left side" positions and consciously keeping the bodyline longer and sleeker than is typical for human swimmers.
  • Use body rotation to minimize disturbance to the water flow and to minimize turbulence and drag. Rotating enough so each shoulder clears the water is sufficient to achieve these benefits.
  • Create propulsion by using the extended hand and arm to "hold your place" in the water then spearing the entering hand past your gripping hand. Produce energy and power by driving down the "high side" of the body rather than using arm muscles to push water back.
  • Emphasis is placed on developing balance and awareness of the dynamics of swimming, over and above the development of simple strength and power.   From Wikipedia
To focus on the execution of Total Immersion stroke mechanics and imprint these techniques in my physical memory, I swim a mile (1800 yds) in 36 fifty yard intervals pausing for 20 breaths between each interval.
I enjoy my evenings in the pool and come home relaxed and very clean.