There was an impromptu club session on Wednesday this week for those lucky enough to have the day off. I finally got my 'camera mounted on a mop' out and videoed a number of our clubbies swimming at the Lido. It was a very interesting session with a range of swimming backgrounds from absolute beginner to experienced open water swimmer.
Four out of five, including those swimmers at both ends of the experience spectrum, displayed the same problem...breath holding! The only one that didn't we had managed to video earlier in the year and he has made great progress since. Why is breath holding a bad thing? The build up in CO2 in the lungs causes you to feel breathless. Also many coaches will say that the increased buoyancy in the chest if held will cause the lower half of the body to sink. There are some coaches that argue this point and encourage breath holding and then an explosive breath out to increase buoyancy. I personally fit into the former category.
Some other faults that were common amongst the group were a cross-over of the leading arm which can cause all sorts of problems including shoulder injury, scissor kicking, ineffective catch set up and poor body alignment. The elbow of the leading arm dropping especially when breathing was also common. As the swimmer was about to take a breath they would push down into the water with the leading arm, keeping the arm straight and lifting the head out of the water. As a consequence of this we would often see over-rotating of the body especially when breathing towards the swimmer's weaker side and the lower half of the body sinking. These are areas we will focus on in the New Year as the majority of the club will benefit from improving the above aspects of their stroke.
There are people setting some hefty (but achievable!) goals next year. The New Forest Middle Distance Triathlon is on September 25th. This would be a great event for those looking at stepping up the distance next year from the standard (Olympic) distance triathlon. The girls lead the boys 2-0 so far with both Sarah Allen and Sam Hart signing up already. Can the girls outnumber the boys in this event? Let's see!
The North Norfolk Triathlon is three weeks before and this is an ideal time to compete in a standard distance race as final preparation for the middle distance race. If you have not competed in the North Norfolk Triathlon check out this video. Click on the link at the top of the menu on the left side of the screen. You'll see Jeremy exiting the water, Sebastian taking off on the bike, me crossing the finishing line (the black and white streak!) and a few of us including Guy, Seb, Sarah and me chatting post-race.
Looking forward to seeing you all again January 9. Have a happy New Year! Tim (LFTC Coach)