Yeah, so I was looking around at some YouTube videos on how to get faster and stumbled onto this one featuring the badassness of pro triathlete Jodie Swallow. Now, my disclaimer here is that Jodie could probably talk me into swimming with sponges on my feet, but this video was pretty simple and made perfect sense. Just move your arms faster.
I went to the pool, armed with my Swallow security blanket and took off like a bat out of hell for the promise land. And it worked . . . for about two laps.
I was totally gassed.
I realize you actually have to be in shape to swim like this, but is three laps asking too much? Apparently.
Five minutes into my session I was swallowing pride at the end of my lane and halfheartedly listening to the same damn stories from the same damn guy who keeps forgetting who I am.
“I shouldn’t say this,” he says, “But I’m secretly racing you in the next lane.”
“How’s that goin’ for ya?,” I say again.
“Well, I’m coming off surgery, so I need motivation.”
“I hear that, bro.”
Then, as the conversation hits that awkward lull and there’s nothing left, he always, every time, looks at me like a little kid and says, “Wanna race?”
And always, every time, I say, “Yes.”
I exploded from the wall in Jodie Swallow mode and promptly roasted my soar-shouldered-friend for 50 meters before collapsing onto the ledge. I’m simply out of shape.
But, the more I swam fast, the more I started to notice I was getting a nice extension and roll without hesitating in front. A fluid churn with a solid cadence. Much like you want from your bike and run.
I wasn’t thinking “fast” as much as I was thinking consistent. Trust the roll and don’t pause or extend your glide. Just circle the arms and keep your body from turning over too far. It was one of those moments when something clicked.
It felt much more like I was swimming instead of trying to stay afloat. A consistent, powerful, and controlled rotation that didn’t wear me out. Of course I was pretty beat up when I discovered this, so I’m not sure it’s really true. We’ll find out tomorrow.
Until then, if you’re reading, Jodie, feel free to tell me I’m wrong before I do something stupid in Louisville.