Sunday, June 27, 2010

A blog post about a swim workout

I don't like organized swim workouts. I am more than happy to just jump in a pool and do laps and be done with it. When I first started doing triathlons I joined one of the Southern California AQuatics masters programs (which shall remain nameless) and the coaches were, well, terrible. They would say "OK, now do 4 laps backstroke, 4 laps sidestroke, and 4 laps freestyle." I'd say "um, I don't know those strokes." "Well just do whatever stroke you know." "Is there a way I could LEARN these other strokes?" "Um, I dunno... I guess you could maybe find a class or something." Useless.

Our Tri Team has coached swim workouts led by Steve. Now there's no denying that Steve is a good swimmer. And he might very well be a good teacher. But I am a terrible swim student. I am uncoordinated, I am easily flustered, and I don't understand the language of swimming: We'll be told "OK, do four by fifties on the fifteens, GO!" And I'm like.... "what?" I'm still trying to wrap my head around the idea that a "lap" is one length of the pool and not a round trip.

But I went to a swim workout anyway, and I was lost from the very start. We were told "beginners will be in the first lanes over there, and we'll we working over here. People here for the workout will be in the middle lanes." This confused me: were there 2 groups of swimmers, or three? After all, weren't we ALL here for the workout? So I put myself in lane 5 of what I thought was Steve's 8 lanes of training, but it turns out I was in lane 1 of some other workout. I still don't understand what that 3rd group was. Steve quickly corrected me by saying "Wedgie, get over here."

We did a lot of kicking. Which wouldn't have been bad, but for parts of the workout we had to count our kicks. We were supposed to do 8 kicks, do a left hand stroke, 8 kicks, a right hand stroke, repeat. Apparently I'm not very good at counting. I guess 8 kicks means left-right-left-right-left-right-left-right-STROKE. For some reason I could only count my left kicks so I was doing 16 kicks per stroke. And then for the next set I would wind up starting off with a right kick which threw everything off. So I pretty much just wound up counting to 10 in my head with no correlation to what my feet were doing whatsoever.

It seems that there is one thing I am good at regarding swimming: I know how to dress. I wear "jammers", which are basically speedos with the leg openings stretched down to your knees. These are the preferred suits for swim workouts. Someone else in the pool was wearing big baggy board shorts, which is probably one step up from wearing cement flippers. Steve thought he'd create his own Goofus and Gallant lesson and had the two of us get out of the pool to show the dos and donts of swimwear. Being paraded around in front of everybody, shirtless, wearing lycra... you can't really come up with a worse nightmare for me.

Oh and yes I'll be going back next week.


Blogger Brad said...

Nice "Children's Highlights" reference there, Wedgie.

9:12 AM  

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