It is 2010 - well in 5 days. Yikes. We must be having a ton of fun 'cause time sure is flying! And at this time of year we always think about what we have learned and what we can improve upon. Fortunately there are many items in each category.
When thinking about your swimming we will wager that one of the most significant things you can do to improve your fitness, speed and effectiveness is to become a stronger kicker. So early in the New Year - say by the 10th - after your legs are really warmed up, grab a kick board (or certainly you can do this on your back, or on your stomach with your hands at your side breathing through your snorkel) and kick a 100 yard/meter effort for time. Record that time.
Now three times a week grab a board and do a set of 500 to 800 yards of kicking. Set your intervals so that you are getting about 20 to 30 seconds of rest after each repeat. One month from the date of your January test repeat the effort. We are willing to bet that your time will be faster and that the amount of improvement will impress you.
Kicking takes no talent. It matters not your genetic make-up. All kicking requires is will power and that is in ample supply presuming you are motivated. You will also notice that your swimming repeat times in practice will improve as a result of more leg power. As your legs get in shape you have better control over the lower 2/3rds of your body and its position in the water relative to resistance. You will find that your legs stay more directly behind your hips which reduce drag and make you more efficient and therefore faster.
Even if you have no desire to become a faster swimmer simply by building your leg power you can become a smoother swimmer. This will make your exercise sessions all the more enjoyable.
Have a great start to 2010 and let us know how we can help!
Oh yes...one more thing. We mentioned use of the snorkel. If you don't have one do yourself a big favor and purchase one. It is the single best tool for improving your swimming. More on its use coming your way shortly.