I hadn’t planned to write anything really revelationary about swimming but it was when I saw a comment I had left (under a previous moniker) on DCRainmakers blog back in 2008 it kinda jarred me; It’s not that I am a good swimmer now, ‘cos I am not, I seem to fooled myself into it more than anything. There is a zen saying to be a “x” do what “x” does. So with some help from You Tube videos, an online friend who has viewed and commented on video of me, a poolside friend who took it and who has patiently watched me flounder from struggling to finish a lap (25 yards) to struggling to finish 40 laps (1000 yards) and a couple of fellow bloggers who have supported me. It is now that I find myself 3 months into “swimming” able to, well, swim. I wish there was a secret, there isn’t. It’s just sheer hard work and time in the water.
For those of you who hold the same opinion that I had in 2008 here are my top 10 tips that I have found to be useful:
- Form Form Form; as best I can tell swimming is 70% form and 30% endurance, if you doing it wrong you will exhaust yourself
- Take some lessons; I had a few and they helped some but more than that, as mentioned, a couple of folks are mentoring me, that’s priceless
- Go little and often; 3 or 4 times a week is much better than twice and doubling the distance. Focus on form before you tire out and loose it
- You Tube is your friend; find video of awesome swimmers and watch it, if you have an iPhone or similar watch just before you swim and try to emulate it; you choose, Thompson, Phelps, Beard or von Hazel, see below for a good one
- Get stuff that works; leaky, misty goggles suck!
- Get some toys; there are plenty of other toys to play with; fins a pull buoy, kick board and hand paddles all allow you to mix it up some
- Measure your success, what you measure becomes important; distance, time and strokes are a good place to start
- Have fun; set yourself a challenge and give yourself a reward when you make it, swim with a friend or family, enjoy it
- Phase it; like running or biking there should be a warm up and cool down either side of your swim
- Stick with it; Since December 1st I have covered 86,000’ (48.8 miles) who knew in 2008 that I could do that!
Like I said I am no expert and I have a long way to go to turn my pool 1000 yards into an open water 4224 yards (2.4 miles) but lap by lap I am getting there!