I’m a fairly good swimmer and I’m among some of the faster swimmers out there. I’ve been a swimmer since I can remember. Hot summers in Minnesota and spending time at the Community Pool in Minneapolis somewhere. I was a tall skinny guy but loved the water, I was a natural at it. I was a swimmer in high school but mostly a sprinter, and never really got into it past then in terms of competitively. Looking back I probably should have, but I was young and stupid. Then when I came across triathlon I didn’t anything about it, I thought I could freestyle. Noticed how I used the word “thought” instead of “know”. I read some books on swimming and looked at countless YouTube videos on how to improve my stroke and even started to learn this “High Elbow Catch” and I knew I had some issue’s the mechanics of it all but I was getting faster. But you can’t really see how your body is while in the water. So I always wondered, I know I’m fast but am I efficient and just cause I’m fast am I actually “good”.
Then one of the guys in my Oceanside training group who’s also the runner in my Triathlon Relay Team went to this place called SwimLabs in Encinitas, CA. He wrote a great e-mail about this place to the Tri Club we’re both in and he told me about everything including a DVD to take home that goes over some of the findings all for 100 bucks! Now I always thought this type of stuff was super expensive and only for the professionals so I never even thought of it. After hearing about this though I was interested and started to look into this. Then I heard at our club meeting that they are now a sponsor as well! I had no reason not to go now. Then just as I was about to call I saw that because I’m one of Julie Dunkle’s athletes I get special pricing as well which sealed the deal. I had no reason not to go and see where I can improve… Yes even at 38 I’m still learning, but how can you improve if you don’t find out what you’re doing wrong.
Earlier that day I swam 1.2 miles as part of a race simulation for Ironman Oceanside 70.3 but didn’t worry about it since 1.2 miles is easy as pie. Walked into SwimLabs and could see the pools along with Mason and Julie who was working with another athlete of hers. I got to admit I was nervous. I think being nervous is healthy it’s part of overcoming your fears and I don’t like hearing about things that I might be doing wrong. I know it’s needed but that doesn’t mean I have to enjoy it right? So anyways it’s my turn in this pool with a current generator so that I don’t need camera’s to follow me through the pool. Starting out it was a bit awkward cause I’m used to actually moving but it’s a treadmill for the water. Well right from the go we were recording and I could clearly see some errors in my stroke and we worked on drills to do so that I’m crossing my arms in front of my face as well as working on my early high elbow catch with my left arm. It seems that my left side of things really needs some work. The upside was that the right side of things was perfect and didn’t need any improvement.. I have the ability to do everything I just have to do it more in the pool to get that muscle memory down so that I can do it in races without having to think about it.
This was awesome to go through and I will probably do it a year from now to see how I’ve improved. I can’t say enough good things about SwimLabs at this time. I got a DVD with the videos of my session along with drills that I need to do to correct my stroke and videos of pro’s doing it properly and notes taken during my session. I highly recommend going to SwimLabs if you are concerned about your swimming.