|Sheila at the 2004 ITU World Triathlon Championship - yes she was that ripped in person!|
So, it was awesome to even get to meet her. But the swim clinic was amazing! It was a 2 day clinic that consisted of a 2 hour lecture on Friday night and ended with a 2 hour pool workout on Saturday. During her lecture on Friday night it was clear that she had a passion for swimming. Her enthusiasm just poured out of her.
So what did I get out of the clinic? Here are a few takeaways that I thought were pretty awesome, especially if you are like me and have been struggling with your swimming for a long time.
- The only way to swim faster is: 1) increase your rate of turnover in the water or 2) decrease the number of strokes you take to get across the pool and 3) a combination of both.
- BEWARE: Don't focus so much on decreasing the number of strokes or it could make you slower. She totally disagrees with the whole "glide" technique that is now commonly taught. Gliding only makes you slower. You might be taking fewer strokes, but you are taking them at a far slower rate, so overall you are slower.
- 80% of what makes you a faster swimmer happens under water i.e. is your catch and your pull. The high elbow recovery, your kick, etc can make you a little faster, but they aren't the things to focus on unless you have mastered the catch and pull. Focusing here will give you the most bang for your buck.
- Develop a feel for the water. You should feel like you are moving water when you swim.
The second day of the clinic was 2 solid hours in the water pretty much doing nothing but drills, drills, and more drills. It was exhausting and I logged about 2000 yards of swimming. I could barely move my arms the next day! The drills were very helpful though and are things that I can easily incorporate into my swimming.
I took a lot away from the clinic and I'm actually excited to get back in the pool and start working on some of the drills and hopefully start improving my swim times!
I know this sounds like a sales pitch from me and it's not in any way. I just really enjoyed my time and wanted to share. She travels and does clinics all over the country, so check out her website and see if she's coming near you....if not, beg your local triathlon club to bring her to your city.
If you have any questions, I'd love to try to answer them.....but I'm not saying I actually can.