I have a confession to make – I’m attracted to the other side.
I’ve been thinking about it for a while and even had a few clumsy attempts – but to be honest it just makes me feel uncomfortable and can sometimes even hurt a bit.
But I’m going to persevere and be true to myself. I guess I just need to put myself in more situations where it can happen and overcome any of those initial fears. It may feel awkward at first, but if I want it enough I should just relax and go for it.
If I do that – then eventually I’ll be able to breathe properly on the right as well and call myself a bi-lateral breather.
It’s only 9:30am and I’m already able to write a headline like that – perhaps that alone tells you all you need to know. Anyway…
– Good day – I got up and went straight out for a swim this morning and did 1.5 miles. It’s starting to come back and I’m enjoying it all again. I’m still not concerning myself too much with my speed, more about getting the miles back into my shoulders and practising my breathing.
– Bad day – When I got home I “nudged” the garage door with the car! To park my car I need to approach the drive at an angle, take the car as close to the garage door as possible and then straighten up. This morning I got closer to the garage door than was possible. Of course I managed to knock the door rollers out of their track and the door settled into a strange angle. I’ve managed to cobble a fix together and if you all promise not to tell my wife I might just get away with it.
Let’s hope the rest of the day is on the good side, or at least remains uneventful.
… apart from the noon bit.
I got up early this morning and went for a swim before work. After a summer of almost complete inactivity I’m enjoying the feeling of doing something again. On top of that, I’m also enjoying practising my breathing.
So I did my current routine of one mile, broken into little sets to help with the breathing and also to do a bit of breaststroke. Then, as per usual I went to the office.
And then, after a full day in the office, I went back again this evening and did another mile.
It’s not a huge distance over a day, but it’s a nice feeling to be able to do it and it’s a nice feeling to feel that I’m on my way towards the big swim.
One of the [many] things that I want to work on in preparation for more swimming next year is my bilateral breathing. Previously I have only ever breathed on one side – my left – and therefore taken a breath every two strokes. If possible I’d like to work on it and breath every three strokes and therefore breathe from alternate sides.
This isn’t something that is an absolute must for me – let’s face it, I swam all of Windermere only breathing to the left, but I do think that it could help. If nothing else being able to breathe on both sides (even if I don’t actually do it much) will help in choppy water if I have to miss a breath because of a wave – which happened a couple of times in Coniston.
Me breathing to the left (only) in Bala
So I’ve started to practice it a bit.
As I’m just getting back into swimming / exercise after a busy summer I’m not trying too hard in the pool right now, so it’s the perfect time to teach myself. I’ve got a very gentle little routine at the moment:
– 400m – warm-up, alternating lengths between breaststroke and crawl (two-stroke breathing)
– 800m – crawl, bilateral breathing only
– 400m – alternating lengths between breaststroke and crawl (bilateral breathing if I can)
Already I’m noticing a difference and surprising myself that I can do 800m bilateral. My body still needs to get used to it as I find myself a little out of breath – although not too much. What I really need to work on though is my body position when I breath. I can feel myself lifting my head and turning my head only, instead of rotating my body in the water as I should. Of course when I lift my head my legs sink and I slow right down.
What I find when I do get it right is that the swimming bit in between the breathing feels stronger and better. I can spend a whole set of strokes just propelling myself forward and not breaking up my stroke to breathe. It also means that when I get the rotation right I have a nice motion in the water.
I just read an article on it that suggests that it takes about two weeks (or six sessions) for it to feel natural, so I’ll keep working on it then.