Thursday, April 19, 2012

Total immersion, lesson 1

I managed to wake up a little earlier today and went to the hotel swimming pool by 7. I wanted to try out the exercises from the Total Immersion book. The book actually mentions a hotel pool as a good place to start the drills, and it was indeed perfect: it's shallow, so you can stop any time, it's short, so you don't need to kick very much to get to the other end of the pool, and most importantly, it was completely empty, so i didn't have to worry about sharing a lane with other people.

The first drill is simply lying on your back, gently kicking, and focusing on proper form. This was pretty easy for me since I used to do a lot of swimming that way as a kid. I learned pretty early on that this was a much more energy efficient way of swimming than having my head out of the water and doing a doggie paddle or a weak breast stroke. Today I focused on floating as horizontally as possible and "pressing the buoy," which TI uses to mean consciously lowering your upper body so that you pivot about the lighter-than-water lungs and raise your lower body up.

The second drill is similar, but you're supposed to turn your body slightly sideways (since most actual swimming is done with the body at an angle). Even though the delta is small, this was significantly harder, since it upsets the balance of the body and my hips and legs kept wanting to sink down.

Unfortunately, just after I started the second drill, I started getting a headache, and then after a couple of more laps, I started feeling increasingly nauseous. I'm not quite sure what caused it; perhaps it was taking my supplements on an empty stomach, or maybe it was when I ran into the pool wall head first (the downside of swimming on your back in a short pool). I decided that throwing up in a pool would be poor form so I decided to stop.

I think I might try to make another stop at the pool before I head home; I like the exercises overall and I think I need more practice before I move on to lesson 2.

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