Sunday, August 15, 2010

Gotta see where your going?

I never thought much about sighting before I started focusing on Triathlon training. Actually, that implies I thought about it atleast once, when the actual truth is that I never thought about it at all. I mean really what was the need, I had goggles and the pool water in which I trained and competed in was always crystal clear. And I think the few times I did do open water swimming as a child, I always just stuck close to my brothers and they guided the way. Now as an adult and having competed in an open water competition and having done my first triathlon I see the importance of learning correct sighting technique whilst still maintaining efficient forward momentum.

The aim of the game is to still move forward right! But unfortunately what I noticed when I first started trying to use this technique in the Tri Club squad sessions, was that my lower limbs dropped slightly in the water and I felt like I slowed down heaps. I also fatigued quickly as it it not an easy thing to perfect and when I got tired my arm stretch started to shorten to - totally ineffective. We would do sets of 100m with the first 25m consisting totally of swimming with our head out of the water and the remaining 75m being Fr/s. I also noticed when I would swim at the other pool that the water polo squads also used this technique so I have been making sure that I try to incorporate this type of swimming regularly.

I think I have gotten better at it. I don't feel fatigued and I tend to maintain the same head height throughout the 25 m. I was also reading in an article today from about the differences they have found in beginner triathletes and elite swimmers when using the sighting technique. My aim will be to mimic the elite swimmers technique so as to maintain a much more proficient style in the water over the course of my 1.9km swim course in the 70.3 next year.

So even though this was never a blip on my radar, sighting now holds a whole new meaning. Do you use sighting techniques in your training?

Panther's Tri Club Swim Squad

I woke up yesterday half expecting to feel in immense pain from the previous days spin class, but lo & behold no pain was to be felt. Not even a little bit of tightness or discomfort anywhere. I am extremely impressed in how my body held up and this has given me a renewed sense of motivation. It's not that I had lost any of my "mojo" but I was wondering if this new activity would make me aware - and not in a good way - of what level of fitness I was at. I am happy with how I am progressing in the leg strength department and feel the massive benefits of my weight training, swimming, cycling and physio exercises. I am not going to pretend that it hasn't been a long slow arduous journey especially in the running department and it's extended hiatus, but I can finally see some really good progress being made.

I especially feel this strength in the pool, even though I felt strong before I am now able to maintain those harder longer sets with much more ease. My kick stays fairly consistent throughout which is great when my arms start to fatigue. The Tri Club "Panthers Triathlon Club"that I am a member of held a squad session at the local pools with TopNotch Performance & Health Coaching. What a great session, I learnt drills I had never learnt before and found out that with all of the people that had turned up I was the fastest girl there. That's not to say that that is how it is, maybe the fastest girl didn't turn up but for that hour and a half I wore the badge of honour. Quite a humbling and slightly embarrassing experience as I was asked to perform a couple of the drills to show the other squad members.

This was the session we had:
  • 300m Fr/s Warm up
  • 3 x 100m no arm Fr/s kick with fins
  • 3 x 100m one arm Rock n' Roll with fins
  • 6 x 50m Fr/s counting arm strokes - 30, 29, 28, 28, 30, 31
  • 10 x 100m Fr/s on 1:45. I did them all on 1:20
What a great afternoon. This will be held for free for the next 3 Saturdays and I look forward to attending all the sessions and learning as much as I can. They will also hopefully be holding other sort of sessions such as a swim session directly followed by a bike ride or track session. Sounds like fun.

Your hard work will be rewarded.

"The path to a dream is paved with sacrifices and lined with determination. And though it has many stumbling blocks along the way, and may go in more than one direction, it is travelled by belief and courage and conquered with a willingness to face challenges and take chances" Barbara Cage