Tuesday evening, I went for my weekly swim training after skipped it for almost two weeks. I used to swim during weekend, either it’s Friday, Saturday, or Sunday evening. But yesterday, I cannot wait till weekend to go for my swim. I was quite tired, but yet managed to force myself to go for a swim. There’s nothing wrong with forcing your body to swim when you are tired, because inside of water, you won’t feel a thing. Ate a few of date palm fruits, and gained energy from there.
When I reached my 500m, suddenly I felt so tired and I was thinking that I couldn’t go further. I felt my body so heavy, and my breath was so short. I was planning to go for 1K only. It was a really short distance compare to my other training.
But ended up to finish 2.05K. It was a shorter than I used to go.
During those tiring moments, I tried to remember the points that I’ve learned from the books. I had read so many books and watched a lot of swimming tutorials, tried to fix my swimming strokes. And there I came to the point to be a real swimmer, a distance swimmer.
So how can you be a real swimmer? This is what I’ve got so far, and would like to share it with you:
- Relax, don’t fight the water for it’s always win. Even for someone who can swim could be panic when they are losing their breath at the middle of the pool, and end up to stop once they reach the poolside. It is so important to be relaxed. When you relax, you would be look like you are gliding along the surface of the water. Each time I get tired, I tell myself: “go easy, go easy. Relax, don’t forget to relax”. And I successfully stabilize my breath and able to keep swimming. I’m not holding my breath. I strongly exhale when my face is inside the water, and inhale when it’s out.
- Keep your head down. Most mistake made by many swimmers is they are keeping their legs down, and it drags their whole bodies down. When they swim, it’s like they are going to be drowned, and when they reach the poolside, they are losing their breath. Swimming must be done as you are floating on top of the water. You must keep your body buoyant. And the only thing to do that is to keep your head down once your head enters the water. The bottom of the pool and your body should be straight up and 0 degrees.
- Rotate, rotate, rotate. My average stroke (freestyle) for each 300m is about 2.00 – 2.50 minutes for the whole 2K – 2.5K. Sometimes in running, the further I go, the slower I’d be. But in swimming, the further I go, the faster I’d be. It is because I fix my body rotation along the way. Body rotation is important to make your swimming becomes more effective so you don’t need to spend so much energy trying to make your body move forward. Legs do not rotate as the body rotates. The feet should be kicking straight up and down.
- Never cross the forbidden centerline. Under no circumstances should either arm ever cross the centerline of your body. At the entry point of the stroke, drop your arm in the water directly in front of your shoulder. Flare our arm out during the catch, sweep back and slightly in during the pull, and finish with your hand next to your thigh.
- Swim with your upperbody muscle, not your legs. I first thought that doing a freestyle needs a strong legs. But I was wrong. No wonder that I always feel so tired and losing breath whenever I’ve done my freestyle. I kicked so hard to reach the poolside. My cousin told me that it is a major mistake to do. I should be swimming with my upperbody muscle, dragging my body to move forward with the upperbody muscle instead of the legs. I did what he had told me, and it is true! Now I understand why most swimmers have a wide shoulder and a toned upperbody, especially for the shoulders and back. It always felt painful everytime I swim now! Kicking legs are meant just to help you to move forward. Even if your legs are not kicking, if you are using your upperbody muscle you would keep moving forward anyway.
A lot of people thought that swimming is hard. I did think the same thing. But now swimming is something I love the most. Running is meant to burn all the fats you have. But swimming for me is the moment when I would be able to form my body, especially the upperbody side. Believe me, those muscle was formed because I regularly swim. It is also healthy for people who has injury or are not able to do heavy workouts.
So.. Let’s swim! =D