Swimming is a pretty cool thing. You'll work on it for a while without seeing a lot of progress, but then one thing clicks and suddenly you can go faster. Simply working harder does not work. It often just means you splash more, and your form is off. I've actually had situations where I work harder and go slower.
That's what's so cool about getting faster on the swim. Something just clicks and all of the sudden, it changes your stroke. This time, it was the phrase "swim quietly" that was said to me a week ago. Now, that wasn't the only thing that was said. There was also an explanation of how I was losing form and "smashing" the water when I tried to speed up.
But, it was the phrase "swim quietly" that gave me the clicking moment. The very first fast length I did with that in mind I noticed it. I realized how I was straightening my arm and smacking the water with the inside of my arm. I was smashing the water, and windmilling, rather then keeping any real technique.
Then, last night, at the coached swim session, I had a breakthrough.
Only a handful of times have I swam 25 metres in less then 30 seconds, and before last night, everyone of those times was a full, all out sprint. Only once before have I swam 50 metres in under a minute. Again, that was an all out sprint.
Last night, I swam 25 metres, 8 times in a row, all of them 27-29 seconds. I swam 50 metres in 57 seconds. And the kicker? It wasn't a sprint. I was simply working hard, and holding form.
Now, could I go faster if I sprinted? Well, yes, I can. I just don't know if it is now or not. Right now, I need to work on keeping that form regardless of the speed I'm going.
I'm all about breakthroughs right now! In the last month, I have achieved the following:
Broken the 50 pound lost mark
Run a sub-60 10K
Blown away the 60 minute mark, going way faster then I thought I could
Discovered the ability to go much harder on the bike then I realized I could
Swam my fastest 25 and 50 metres without even sprinting
Ran my fastest km ever (Somehow this didn't even end up in my blog. What's up with that?)
Fit back into my Xena costume
Set long term goals and allowed myself to dream
Conquered fears and let go
Run my longest distance ever (24 km, 15mi)
Seriously, I'm on fire. Maybe it sounds like I'm bragging, but this has been one of the biggest months for me ever. I've let go of one limit after another and now, the sky is the limit.