Wednesday, 23 May 2007

Front Crawl Is Not The Only Stroke

My main weakness (apart from poor fitness and pies) in triathlon is my swimming. I know swimming is mostly skill based and I just don't have those skills. I have been looking for ways to correct this deficiency and decide to attend a coached swimming session at my local pool. Not coming from a swimming background I had no idea what to expect. Well it was hard.

We started with some nice gentle lengths of front crawl. Then did some lengths counting strokes followed by sprint lengths. Then we started to get to the different stuff. Breast stroke arms with a front crawl kick. Swimming on your back with a dolphin kick. Then we got to the real killer - butterfly.

Butterfly is such a wrong name for this stroke. It is a pretty, gentle, fluttery name. It is a tiring, painful, exhausting stroke. How swimmers have allowed this to be called butterfly for so long is beyond me. The name should be changed to something more suitable like git or if they want to stick with the insect based theme how about cockroach. This was the first time I tried this butterfly and to be honest I was impressed with myself for managing 10 lengths of it (with rests in-between of course).

Of course the big question is will it improve my stroke and my triathlon swim times? Well I certainly feel it was good fitness work the jury is out on the stroke improvement. I think it will help me be more comfortable and coordinated in the water. Being a masochist I am of course planning to go back next week.

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