Monday, January 11, 2010

Operation Triceps


For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of meeting San Diego’s Gurujan Dourson, one of his (many) mantra’s goes something like this:

If you want to be a faster biker, bike more
If you want to be a faster runner, run more
If you want to be a faster swimmer, take lessons

Years later, I decided it’s finally time to take his advice, and got me some.

Better late than never, right?

I asked my friend Carrie to help me out with my swim stroke. Surprisingly, she accepted (all that time in the chlorine must have had an effect on her processing abilities. Thankfully she didn't ask for a video first!). Carrie is a rock star swimmer, and there is nothing more to say to it than that. She could kick your ass. I figured that if I can simply make my stroke more effective and/or more powerful, that’s gotta make me faster given the same swim volume. Seems reasonable.

Yesterday morning was my first swim lesson. She asked me my objectives, and asked me to swim a few laps. Some easy, some builds, and then an all out set. After the all out set, she started to talk, and the words came out of her mouth…

“You’re stroke isn’t, umm…”

For those of you who don’t know Carrie, she is very mild mannered, nice, and would never hurt anything (unless you ask her for a swim set). I could tell she was really trying to be nice with her choice of words:

“… horrific.”

Horrific? Really? Wow. I guess that’s better than “the worse I’ve ever seen”. I could barely hold back the laughter. She couldn’t.

After a few more laps, we realized what the main issues were:

• I don’t glide enough
• At the end of my stroke, I push off way too much. It’s like I’m trying to move the air above the water.
• And the best/funniest – at the end of my stroke on hard efforts, when my hand comes out of the water, my palm rotates inward (toward my body), thus pushing the water laterally across my back. She mentioned that she had a general concern for people in not just the next lane over, but the lane after that one. Sheesh.

After a few laps of instruction and trying to do a lot at once, I finally started getting the hang of it all (although, there is still is no chance in hell for me to count “one one-thousand, two one-thousand, three one-thousand" while swimming.). I was gliding more, and pushing water, not air, backwards. Imagine that! Hey Mom – look at me – I can splash backwards now!

Anyways, onto the title of this post – my triceps were F-E-E-L-I-N’ I-T! Woof!

She mentioned that they will continue to be feelin’ it for the next couple of sessions. The 2700 yards I did this morning confirmed that.

While en route to getting a burrito after wards, I showed her a sample workout from Mr. V. She asked if I actually used the inner tube that he prescribes. I said No (sorry coach).

Well, apparently, I wasn't full from the burrito because when I went back home, I was eating my words when I opened an email from Chuckie that said "Buy this."


Ulyana said...

Awesome! I'm going to join master's pretty soon. I think I hit a wall as a beginner and it's time to get criticized and corrected :)

tinaparker87 said...

What is the tube for? or is that coming later?

Ryan Denner said...


The purpose is unknown at the moment, but I believe that its to:

* Decrease ANY leg movement/kicking, making the arms/shoulders/back work more

* Increase resistance, making the arms/shoulders/back work more

... ie. build strength/inflict pain.


tinaparker87 said...

The more I think about the lake and the inner tube, I think you are right!

Thanks for the post. Carrie is great:)

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goSonja said...

I tried the inner tube yesterday (mine just came in the mail). I haven't been told to use it yet, but I was excited and wanted to see what it was about. First off, getting "into" it is hilarious as it is QUITE buoyant. The lifeguards were totally making fun of me.

Second, it creates LOTS of drag, I didn't expect that.