Sunday, September 03, 2006

Saturday swim practice

When I first joined the swim team the practices for the masters team (adults) were Tuesday and Thursday 5:45-7:15 am and Saturday morning. But I never went on Saturday. When I first started I was told a cautionary tale about a youngish man who started swimming with the masters but then never came back again after he showed up on a Saturday and got whupped by the 9 year olds. I also knew that at most the masters had one lane on Saturday morning, and it is a strain to circle in one lane with people much faster than me (on weekday mornings we are often only two to a lane, or at least divided up into three lanes by speed). Later the masters went to practicing Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 5:30 to 7:00 am.

But our new acting coach can only do two mornings a week until high school swim team season is over. With the turmoil of losing a coach and the different kids groups not all started back up yet, I heard that no kids showed up for Saturday practice last week, just three or four adults. Saturday practice is 7:30 to 9:30 am in the pool and then dry land--weight training in the gym. The coach had some core exercises he wanted to show me, so I rearranged my weekend plans slightly to be able to go to Saturday swim practice this week. It was the first time I had ever gone on a Saturday.

There were three adults and two kids--we each had a lane to ourselves. And this coach much more than the other has us each doing different things depending on our level. Two hours is a lot of swimming, but he has me going easy and working on form, so it wasn't too difficult. The hardest set I did was 100 yards of four different drills, 100 free building speed, then 50 hard, repeated 4 times. And I'm getting used to the coach, who is louder (and more of a toucher) than the previous coach. My only previous experience with being coached is when I was on a women's sailing team in college--being told what to do and what I am doing wrong as intensely as a swimming coach does takes some getting used to.

Then I changed to go up to the gym and immediately discovered a problem. I've literally never worked out in a gym--I didn't know I needed closed toe shoes. I felt pretty stupid. The coach decided that my sandals would have to do, and reassured the staff person supervising the room that I wouldn't be working with any of the weight machines. Instead he had me catching and throwing a 6 pound ball while lowering myself partway backwards on an incline bench and then doing something he called a donkey kick with my feet on a stability ball. I'm sore today but I actually was reasonably pleased with what I could do. Swimming (with lots of butterfly kicking) has strengthed my core a lot from what it was.

1 comment:

Isis said...

I wanted to tell you Saturday, but you all got out before I could catch you: I know it has only been a week, but I can already see a big difference in your freestyle form. Whatever you're doing, keep doing it, because you're kicking butt! (not just with the donkey kicks)