I committed to a tri swim clinic every Tuesday night in January. I’m already seeing the benefits, and I may even end up getting some private lessons once this session is over. All kinds of stuff I’m working on, and it almost all lines up with what I wanted to change about my stroke.

I’ve noticed a couple of things I didn’t like about my stroke over the past few years. First of all, I feel like I’ve been relying on my glide way too much and should try to increase my turnover rate. Calling it a “glide” makes it sound like a really smooth stroke. But when you call it a “pause”, which I plan on calling it from now on, it sounds not so good.

The pause is directly related to the other problem I’ve been wanting to correct–the feeling (especially on race day) that my lower body is way too low in the water. I feel like I’m just dragging dead weight around. Well, that’s what happens when you glide…err….pause, unless you are willing to up your kick effort to get your lower body higher. And I don’t want to do that.

When I’ve tried to increase my stroke rate on my own, the heart rate has suffered. Again, that comes back to the pause and what it had me doing mentally. I’ve been consciously focused on really thrusting forward on my entry, but never really focused much on my pull. The result–swimming with my shoulders instead of my pecs and lats. It just doesn’t make sense to use those little muscles to propel myself forward when I could instead use the bigger muscles to pull the water behind me.

So lots of one armed drilling in the near future. Lots of sculling and tricep presses under the water while kicking. Lots of pull ups.

Doesn’t that sound fun?

I plan on having an easier entry, focused question-mark pull, and higher rate by May.

Hopefully ~7 minutes off my 1.2 miles swim too.