“That was the best you ever looked. Ever.”

image Celebrate the end of 2008 with 40% off at K-Swiss.com. I want to give a gift to all my readers, so from now until December 31st you can get 40% off your entire purchase at K-Swiss.com. I’m not supposed to publish the discount code, so leave me a note here and I’ll email you the code. My recommendation on what to buy? The Keahou, some classics, or, better yet, design your own casual sneakers. They also have a ton of cool clothing. So leave me a message (be nice) and then get some cool swag for you and your friends at 40% off! With your new K-Swiss gear, you’ll be looking the best you’ve ever looked. Ever.

Speaking of which, last Saturday I saw my long lost friends Brian and Marijana. We met at the IMA pool for a long overdue romp (a.k.a. attempting to drown each other.), followed by a short workout and (most importantly) a swim lesson! There are two things about Brian that I can say for certain: 1) He is among the busiest people I know, and 2) he is amazing at teaching stroke technique.

I’ve been burying my head, crossing over my centerline on entry, and rotating from my shoulders instead of my hips. All this means I’m pushing water with my shoulders instead of my head (much more drag), and I’m wiggling down the pool like a car in the snow.

It took about 6 or 8 fifties where Brian and Marijana both shook their heads and told me how terrible I looked before I made any progress.

“Ben, try not kicking so I can see what your hips are doing and why you wiggle so much”

— a 50 later —

“You were still kicking. It’s just like when we swam on Issaquah together and you always kicked during the pull sets”

“I NEVER kicked during the pull sets, you’re full of crap”

“you ALWAYS kicked during the pull sets… ok, this time float before you start swimming and keep your head at the surface, and try to extend your neck.”

— a 50 later —

“your breathing sucks, you lift your head into your armpit like you’re trying to give it a lick”

— a 50 later —

“That was way better. For about 3 strokes…

swim lessons!!— Several 50s later–

“That was great until the last 3 strokes! I mean, it still kind of sucked, but it was much better! Try again!”

— a 50 later —

“That was the best you have ever looked in the water. Ever.”

[left: I wish my swim lessons were this much fun]

Then I stopped. A while back I wrote that the most important thing anyone can do for their swimming ability is to get regular technique lessons from a capable coach. Apparently I need to take my own advice more often. Since Saturday I have been taking it slow, trying really hard to make every yard technically sound. I’ve heard that a change in stroke takes 10,000 yards before it can be done without conscious thinking, and another 10,000 before it feels natural. College swimmers get that in day, but most triathletes have to maintain that focus for an entire week of training. This fact alone legitimizes the importance of winter training. Put in the long slow hours of stroke work now, and when you’re preparing for a race in June you can focus on going fast.

Published by Ben

Ben Collins Professional Triathlete

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  1. ooo i like excuses to say nice things to you. here’s something nice:

    you always look the best ever!

    although, my criteria are admittedly different than brian’s and marijana’s.

    here’s another nice thing:

    your blog is WAY better than mine this week. WTF.

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