Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Total Immerson ROCKS!

So cool! I'd been wanting to make it to the TI studio in New Paltz for months now - it's only an hour and a quarter from my house, but I had to justify the time and money to myself. Then a week or two ago I realized I had a very good reason to go there for work -- a 15 minute errand that was actually very important, and that took me to less than five minutes from the TI studio. In a perfectly karmic setup, I called for a lesson and the only time they had available was 4:30 pm (end of workday) on the only day this week that I could actually go. They booked me with this fine fellow - a pro triathlete (he's headed out to the Vineland 70.3 in 2 weeks, and finished 5th overall at Eagleman) who also happens to be, well, easy on the eyes and a very good teacher! It's one thing to read the book, but I can tell you, actually doing it is SO different. I never quite got the hang of the "underswitch" and "zipper switch" from reading a description, but when you're in the endless pool, watching videos of yourself doing it wrong and an expert doing it right, slowed waaaaay down, you GET IT. Once I got the head and arm position right, my hips and legs floated right up to the surface. There is a mirror on the floor of the pool too, so you can watch yourself and make corrections immediately - it's fascinating. Even watching myself in a bathing suit wasn't too painful since I could focus on something other than the size of my thighs. (And the camera was at my head, so my better parts were in view and my nether parts mostly unseen.)

I finally understand why you MUST do those tedious seeming drills again and again and again - you have to get your muscle memory engaged in little pieces before you put it all together. So - it's back to the pool for me tomorrow - I'm going to really WORK THIS for a few weeks before I decide if I'm ready for another triathlon on August 11. Greg recommended I focus on pool drills now, but that the only way to get used to open water is spend a lot of time in it. So - maybe that will be my focus this year - the Harlem Valley Rail Ride in 2 weeks, the 10K run in Rhinebeck on Labor Day, and another triathlon at some time to be named later when I see how the swim develops.

One immediate benefit, by the way: I found I could breathe every other stroke instead of every, without running out of breath, after only the 2 hour lesson.


Duane said...

That sounds really great! I have the video but a workout in person would be so much better!

GeekGirl said...

You know, my son went through a whole year of triathlon before he found out he was ALLOWED to breath while swimming...he thought the purpose was to swim as far as you can without breathing. Glad you found out now!

RUTH said...

GREAT NEWS! Sounds like you'll make rapid progress now...you just needed the right teacher and the right method of teaching.

LBTEPA said...

That's tremendous :)
There's nothing like feeling confident in the water is there? As for the drills, yes you're right - think of it as conditionisng while you refine your technique!

Lisa - Slow & Steady said...

Wow - sounds like most excellent progress.

I haven't done total immersion, but I have spent time with two different swim coaches and getting the technique down was key!