Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Swimming lessons

Before Christmas, I figured well, I can't cycle (I prefer saying bikle though), terrified to start running again, so I will get in the gym and pool. So I did.

I've been doing short gym sessions, more quality than quantity. So I get in and do maybe 30 minutes, hit the cross trainer, rower, maybe a watt bike and some leg weights, and a set or two with kettlebells. The cross trainer session is a pyramid, where I start with resistance on 1 and up it by 1 every 30 seconds; if I have time, I do this until I can barely move it (that would be around 21), then I drop it by 1 every 30 seconds. It's very effective and gives endurance, strength and cardio in a neat package.

Anyway, while in the pool, I generally do breaststroke. It's quite natural for me, and if I apply myself, I can keep up with a slow front crawler. Even overtake one or two. But I realised as it currently takes me 30 minutes to do half a mile, then 1.2 miles will take me almost up to the cutoff to finish the swim section of the race. So there's absolutely no cushion in there at all. My solution? Front crawl, motherfuckers!

Except it turns out I can't do it. Just cannot breathe, or roll to breathe, or any of it. So fuck that. Or rather, get a fucking teacher.

So I signed up for lessons with a group recommended by a friend. It's 1-1 teaching in a private pool at a local school, and I went for my first lesson last Saturday. What a fucking revelation that was. I entered the pool someone who could not crawl, and I left it as someone that could. In 30 minutes. Mazin!

Last night I went to my local pool and tried out what I had learned, and I can still do it! Problem is, I can't maintain it for a length, I find I am really gasping for air. I think it's a combination of trying to do it too fast and shitty cardio fitness; that said, I tried it much slower and found the same thing. I can do 2/3-3/4 of a length, but then find I am really struggling to catch my breath.

The solution, I think, is... to start running. It increases my cardio like nothing else, but also has a huge, huge impact on my lung capacity.

Back in the day when I was in a band, I wish I had been a runner not a smoker. The effect it has on my singing is also profound; I am still a shitty singer, but I can hold and maintain that shit for a lot longer. I can even do a passable rendition of this, if shitfaced and alone:

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/725iONdAu9Q" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen></iframe>

And this (it's worth it just for the intro. It absolutely rocks.)

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/KDMvN45sjo4" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen></iframe>

TL;DR: Went to swimming lesson. Learned to swim.

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