In my recent post, Effortless Swimming-Goof Out#1, I gave a summary of the introductory lesson in Effortless Swimming’s Mastering Freestyle Course.  This course is located within the Swimprove program hosted by Brenton Ford and his Australian company Effortless Swimming.  I continued with that lesson for a week which was dedicated to balance and streamlining within the water, and I recently continued with lessons 1 & 2.

Lesson 1 was specifically geared to the feel of rotating from your hips.  I did this workout 3 times and I want to nickname it the Core Killer.  I never thought working out in the pool with so little movement would cause such a tightness in my abs and core, but nevertheless, my abs, obliques, quads and hammies where a little tight the next day.  It consisted of 1800 meters of drills, plus a warm-up and cool down making it 2400 meters total.

The Workout

WU: 300m any stroke
MS: 300m Kick on side w/ shoulder to chin
300m Kick on side w/ hand-to-face
300m Kick on side w/ switch
300m Kick on side w/ arms at side
300m Kick on side w/ arms across chest
300m Kick on side w/ blockhead arms
CD:300m Easy Free

I do not have a strong kick, so I continued to use my Zoomer fins to reduce my worry of propulsion since I knew that was not the focus of the workout.  Lucky for me, Brenton actually suggests the use of fins in both the written material and the videos that accompany this course.

Throughout the workout, I noticed that when it was more difficult to rotate from my hips, I was not streamlined, however when I engaged just my core, and lengthened myself, rotating the hips became a lot smoother and I did move faster to the other end of the pool.  I also learned more about breathing, because when you have one shoulder out of the water and you are look at the bottom of the pool, once in a while it is nice to turn your head and breathe.  The breath is quick, so I started to breathe out during the drill and breathe in when I rotated.  This was never natural for me and I know it caused a lot of anxiety for me.  It still isn’t natural, but it makes a lot more sense.  Once I finish the lessons, I will be able to develop a relaxing pattern with this new revelation.

Lesson 2 added the arms.  I kept the fins with these drills, but because there were only three drills, I dropped them afterwards and swam one thousand meters without them.  I was still slow, but I noticed it was quite a bit easier.  I also developed a patter of breathing for myself, which I still am not consistent with but, when my position is streamlined and I am keeping a high elbow, it is a lot easier with the new breathing patter. It makes for an interesting alert.  If I begin to feel like my breathing pattern is off, most likely it is because my swimming technique as fallen apart.

The Workout

WU: 300m any stroke
MS: 300m Shark Fin Drill with pause & return
300m Shark Fin Drill with practice entry
300m Shark Fin Drill with switch
10×100 Free Form Focus
CD: 300m Easy Free

This weekend will be the test.  My first triathlon of the season is Sunday at the HITS Ocala Olympic Triathlon.  I still have one more module of the Mastering Freestyle Course, but that will have to wait for next week.  I am going to use my last workout this week to continue with the lesson 2 drills.  We will see what happens. I am really excited

You can checkout the Swimprove program at www.swimprove.com

Carpe Viam!