Back to Basics In the Pool

As I posted in my earlier post, I am stuck with really light non-heart stress inducing workouts right now.  In the words of my doctor: ‘brisk walking and light activity only’.  I understand this is because the pressure was so high he is afraid of me having a stroke or heart attack.  I digress.  So, I have  been focusing really hard on walking for the last week and doing some pilates and yoga classes.  I figured since I am on light duty it would be great time to try some different activities and see how they will work mixed in with my triathlon training when I am allowed to continue my usual workouts.  So besides that I also wanted to spend some time in the pool.  I knew I could not or should not do my normal workouts as they push endurance and get my heart rate up. So I settled on going back to the basics and spending some good time just drilling on form and mechanics of swimming. While not a difficult workout, I found it was very beneficial as I just focused on the basic mechanics of total immersion swimming.

I was initially inspired by a fellow bloggers post on floating and the mechanics of floating.  This is a key lesson in learning to do total immersion style of swimming and I try to go back to it at least once a month if not more often.  I decided  I could practice some other drills focusing on floating and body position mechanic exercises. So for about 30 minutes I worked on properly floating on my back, sides and in a skate position(side with arm out).  The goal in the latter is to feel like you are appropriately flowing downward.  The overall goal was to just practice moving appropriately in the water.  As I said, really early basic drills learned early in total immersion swimming lessons.

Overall a great work out.  I realize now that I need to work to incorporate these into my swim workouts more often. I think practicing these drills do really help in the overall big picture of swimming laps, its all about swim economy.  By being able to position my body in the water appropriately I can glide and cut through the water better, thus I am a better swimmer.  As I said I do these at least once a month, but I think I might start working on them once a week.  It does feel a little weird being in the pool and only doing drills while other lane swimmers are pounding out lap after lap, but I know I am becoming a better more efficient swimmer by working on the base mechanics.

So while I am activity limited, I think this was a very constructive use of my down time as I am working to make myself a better swimmer.  This is what overcoming life’s little challenges is really all about.  Til next time.



  1. Really like this blog post – thanks for the shout out too! I know it is frustrating to cut back on your normal routine but it is refreshing to see you take that challenge and find other things to focus on. I think yoga & pilates are really challenging too. There are so many things that you can work on in the pool too that won’t get your heart rate too high but will set you up for success once you’re able to resume your normal activities. I’m inspired!

    1. Thank you. It was your post on floating that got me thinking about what else I can do. Thanks for the inspiration.

  2. If you don’t mind, I’d like to reblog this post in case some of my readers are in similar positions, but I think you have to change the settings on it to allow me to do that?

  3. Never mind – I figured it out.

  4. Reblogged this on The Water Blogged Triathlete and commented:
    One of our readers has had to scale back their workout routine for the time being. We’ve been impressed with his ability to take an obstacle and turn it into an opportunity, so we thought we’d share his blog post about going back to the basics in the pool – and why it is a constructive use of his time:

    1. Thank you. Hope it help some other people out.

  5. […] As I posted earlier today, due to external factors I have to take it easy in my workouts and I have begun to go back and revisit my swimming drills.  Doing swimming drills help extend the mechanics and flow of swimming.  Also, most importantly it helps to enforce muscle memory and make you a more efficient swimmer in the long run.  Endurance training is still important, but mechanics cannot be ignored.  The interesting thing about the Total Immersion school of swimming is its insistence on continuing to perform balance and basic drill exercise in swim training past the early learning stages.  I also like the fact it stresses not using swim toys and suggests other ways to improve.  I have mentioned that it feels a little weird doing half pool length relaxed drills while everyone else is hammering away at lap after lap.  But I am doing this for my benefit to get better at swimming. I am taking care of my engine and securing the mechanics.  I figured I would outline some of the drills I have been doing and even point out one or two new ones I might add into my next couple of swim workouts.  I figure I will continue these at least once a week as they are pretty essential to improve my swimming. BTW allot of these are really good for smaller hotel and apartment pools. […]

  6. Water is a great thing! I love Zumba, but it is so hard on my joints. A friend of mine is going to a zumba class in water. How cool. Ha ha. It’s too far away from here though. If money weren’t an issue, I would love to have one of those exercise pools. 😉

    1. That sounds interesting. I have flirted with the idea of water aerobics but times are not friendly to my work schedule.

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