Swim Analysis….

Well, last night was a totally new experience.  While I have swam my entire life, I don’t lay claim to having any particular skills.  I can swim for a long time but not particularly fast.  I’ve been wanting to take a formal swim “lesson” for well over a year but apparently my work, life, family schedule isn’t very user friendly so it never worked out.  However, last night MJ from TriSmart carved a notch out of her evening to help myself and a friend.


I won’t say that we were thrilled about going, quite the contrary.  Initially, we were going to swim at the same time that TriSmart had a group swim and this was super intimidating for us.  I have swam with TriSmart before but it wasn’t my fault, we “all” just happened to be at the same pool.  It’s happened multiple times actually and its not fun.  They do workouts and I just swim.  Since their workouts are broken down into shorter segments where they work on one particular skill for a shorter period of time, they get a decent pace going.  And they splash a lot of water around.  And the rocking and rolling of the pool tidal waves make me want to stay as far away from them as possible so that I can “just” swim.  The thought of jumping right into a group session where I was ALSO supposed to be getting individualized instruction, sounded less than ideal.  Fortunately, MJ managed to get us an earlier slot and it was a much more relaxed atmosphere.  Thanks, MJ!

We did a 100 yard (4 lengths of the pool, 25 yard = 1 length) time trial where my lack of swimming really showed in my poor endurance.  I was 10 seconds faster on the first length vs the last.  Oooops.  Sorry about that!   Actually that’s how I run too.  I know, even splits are better.  Boooooo!!!!

We did a 50 yard swim to test efficiency by determining how many strokes it took to get thru one length.  Too many apparently.  Therefore, I need to work on efficiency with the end goal being less strokes to cover the length of the pool verses those I used last night.  How to get more efficient?  Rotate more in the water and get that slipstream going!

We received lots of tips, like I should NOT hold my breath when I swim.   🙂  I don’t think that’s normal for me but I was nervous.  I haven’t been in the pool since August.  Plus, I really was holding my breath and “forgetting” to exhale while I was face down in the water.

I also managed to forget about my “rotation”, a skill that I worked on for probably 6 months prior to my first half ironman in 2008.  I wasn’t reaching far enough and I also was not rotating my body enough in the water.  As soon as it was mentioned, the light bulb popped on…..


I’ve previous worked on the reach and follow thru for long periods of time.  I would have thought it to be ingrained in my memory but apparently not.  In fact, I’m quite certain that I swam all year last year NOT reaching and NOT following thru with good rotation.  I can see the lack of it here in this video that MJ shot:

I am also bringing my arms too far in front of my body.  She wants them wider so as not to cross motion but continue the motion going forward.  Lots to work on.  Where to start?  Ugh!  The swim analysis comes with a workout so that I can start working on remembering what I “used to”  know and also fix some of the things that I didn’t even know where wrong, like trying to swim with my arms wider in the water.  Lots of fun ahead!

Have you have done a swim analysis?   Would you think about it?  We have a few more months before TRI season really takes off in the Midwest, so now is the time to hit the pool and correct some of the little flaws that might be weighing US down.  🙂

** Happy TRIing ** Amanda – TooTallFritz ** amanda@tootallfritz.com **