The frustration of seeing my leg kick scissoring and slowing me down is definitely not good but when I look back at the start of my swimming journey 2 years ago it reminds me how far things have progressed and developed.
If you are planning on a triathlon, or just to increase your pool swimming for exercise then it is worth popping for some video analysis. Total Immersion coaching with Tri N Swim Well in Essex.
With swimming, it is almost impossible to know exactly what your body is doing in the water. Visualisation and knowing what the ‘correct’ way to swim is definitely important, but the problem is; In my mind, everything is perfect. While I am swimming when I look under the water all looks fine, but listening to the feedback from all around I know much improvement is needed.
With swim training it is so technique driven, unless you achieve perfection you will always need to continue working on your form. If the professionals still video and train their swims then the chances are you're not perfect and you never will be. Face facts, you are not perfect, boo-hoo.
When I look back at my old swimming videos, see so many glaringly obvious errors in bad form it makes me cringe, and when I now go to swim training it is nice to know that I have to put the video in slow motion to actually see the problematic areas and new things to focus on. Okay you can see most of the issues at normal speed and plenty of room for improvement but to hone in on some of that detail you really need to watch in slow motion. I have watched videos of professionals, purchased DVDs, downloaded swim form apps. But the reality is, well at least for myself, you just can't see yourself swimming and you don't know what you are doing wrong.
To such a technique driven sport swimming really does lean itself a video analysis. There are so many things that can go wrong with a swim and form and not swimming efficiently really does cost you minutes + bagfuls of energy. Small tweaks and changes to your swim form especially when you start training will really make a big difference. Maybe not so much to your swim speed, but differently to your swimming efficiency. With your swim efficiency the more efficient you are, you can swim longer and can maintain the pace. If you are competing triathlete then you will have more energy to save for the cycle and for the run.
Fine tuning your swim is something you may not do on a weekly basis once you start to pick up more advanced techniques. It may be something you can do monthly, bimonthly, or six monthly depending on how often you get down the pool. What I have found with swimming is muscle memory really is hard to wipe out any bad form. So if you only swim once a week, videoing your swim on a monthly basis is a good idea, it will give you something to work on for your next pool swim. It will also mean you do not let the bad form linger. It is nice also when you're in the pool to have something else to focus on and try and fix. When you are next under the microscope watching yourself on camera crossing your fingers that that issue is now OK and nothing new has developed it is really pleasing to see your form improving.
So why do we need better technique?
Prevent injury - Shoulder injuries are common for the older generation of swimmers that may rotate their shoulders in the water. Neck strains and all sorts of weird and wonderful aches may start to fester.
Swim more efficiently - The efficiency in water makes such a difference. Someone with good technique has so much more speed.
Don’t look like such an amateur - Big splashing in the pool is just not cool!
More training sessions. Pay attention to the legs. Learn to bilateral breath. Try and get faster! It is nice to know the learning continues and there is always something to work on.
Definitely book in for some video analysis. If you are in Essex www.trinswimwell.co.uk have helped many swimmers get into triathlon, open water swimming and just build confidence for pool swimming. If not, get on Google and search for Total Immersion Swim Coaching or visit www.totalimmersion.co.uk
You may not get faster over night. But you will start to save effort very quickly. You will be able to swim for longer and you will make much smaller splashes!
Need more motivation? Read our posts from other triathletes in our training and motivation posts.