I’ve spoken on my blog before about how much I love being in the water but I know that my technique needs a bit of love, as is evident when I get to the end of a few lengths of front crawl and I feel like I’ve run a marathon. So when Swimming Nature got in touch to ask if I wanted to try out a series of 4 swimming lessons with them I jumped at the chance.
Swimming Nature set themselves apart because the classes are small, either one-on-one or two pupils to one instructor and the instructor is often in the pool with the pupils helping them through the lesson. They teach kids how to swim without any doggy paddle or arm bands which is amazing. I turned up early for my first lesson and saw this in action. I couldn’t help but smile as tiny kids were learning how to do tumble turns and swim backstroke whilst being supported in the water by fun and energetic coaches.
When it was my turn thankfully the lane emptied and it was just me and Mark, my instructor. He asked me a bit about my swimming history which includes a few triathlons with very slow swimming legs. I then showed him what I could do in the water with a few lengths of each stroke. I was very flattered when he asked if I’d swum breastroke for a club in the past but it did confirm what I suspected, I feel like I can swim breastroke for hours because my technique happens to be efficient and strong. No idea how that happened as I haven’t had any lessons since I was a kid!
My freestyle, or front crawl, on the other hand needed a bit of love. Mark videoed me while I was swimming which was fascinating to watch because the struggles that I feel while doing freestyle showed up clearly on the video.
My style is very flat in that there’s not much rotation of my body as I use each arm. Whilst some swimmer sod have more of a flat shape in the water it’s generally suggested that you’re more aerodynamic (hydrodynamic maybe?) if your whole body turns as your arms move. It’s tricky to explain in words but I’m hoping that by the end of my course of lessons I’ll be able to do a comparison video.
We mainly worked on breathing to get me more used to taking breaths on my non-dominant side, something I can do but prefer not to as the other side is stronger. Like anything, the more I thought about it and focused on what Mark was telling me at the end of each length, the smoother my stroke felt. It’s amazing how much more focused I was on what each part of my body was doing within 30 minutes.
I came out of the pool with my mind buzzing and instructions to try and practice before my next lesson although I’m not sure that’s actually going to happen between work, training to cycle to Paris and life. I’ve booked some swimming sessions into my diary already for the coming weeks though so hopefully I’ll be able to practice a bit more after the other lessons.
I can’t wait for the next lesson already!