Can Smooth Get Smoother?

Today I swam the best 90 continuous minutes I have ever swam! As the sun was just poking up over the horizon at 6:40 the sea was gently swaying with small swells, yet the surface was glossy smooth. The water at 30 degrees C is getting too warm for swimming hard for long distances.

90 minutes- 10 minute careful warm-up, then repeating 250-stroke single ‘stroke-thought’ segments.

Stroke thoughts to focus on:

  1. Tuck the chin, lazer lead head
  2. Wider Track Swing Recovery Arm
  3. Rotate shoulder for higher elbow catch

Each one of these focus points came from the feedback I received at the TI TP training camp I just completed in Poznan, Poland last week. Each one was counter-intuitive to some position I had intentionally developed into my stroke over the last several years. At first suggestion I was a little skeptical but in the zentradition of a learner I embraced the feedback and gave it a try. I immediately started experimenting that first day at the camp and was shocked to see how even these little adjustments produced even more economy and speed into my stroke within minutes! I was easily cruising along with 25m repeats at 1:45 pace at 11 SPL just from the smallest adjustment in position and timing of my catch. As I drilled it more I increased speed and maintained economy. Amazing.

So today, in the sea I continued the focus points. Since I was traveling and then recovering after the camp I did not swim for a week- so I was going to be careful to just swim a gentle 60 minutes to start the week out. But it was so effortless I extended it and just kept going. I would have kept going… I only got out of the water because I had forgotten to put vaseline in my arm pits and at 45 minutes my skin there was starting to chaff and burn. By 8:00 the sun was rising higher and I was starting to feel like a stewed fish.

I will only be able to swim at sunrise for the next couple weeks in this kind of heat.

Yes, smooth can get smoother. There is NEVER a limit to how refined, how economic, how fluid a swimmer can become in the water. And the thrill of smooth speed is euphoric, not only in its affect on my nervous system, but in its affect on the morale of the competitor next to me!

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