I've been whining about my slow swimming speed on the blog enough to be a bore, I know.
So today, I do not whine but talk about a technique that has helped me. Well, two techniques.
The first is a technique I learned about reading some Total Immersion discussions. Yes, I know there's a controversy about whether or not these techniques are really all that effective or not, and goodness knows you can't plot a data curve from one point.
It's called Patient Lead Hand. The idea is that you don't start the pull until your reccovery hand enters the water. Essentially, you've always got a hand leading and spearing the water.
The second technique was really more of a mental image than anything. I saw that on the SwimSmooth site. You visualize pushing the water with your stroke to the back wall. If you keep that in mind, it helps with the early vertical forearm and several other aspects of stroke mechanics.
The last week or so, I've been cruising along at 2:42/100 yards for my freestyle sets. While an improvement over last year, it's still really slow.
This morning I decided I was going to try this patient lead hand thing and the push the water to the back wall visualization for a week and see if there was any improvement. I was expecting to take a speed hit.
Nope. Today, my cruising speed was more like 2:32/100 yards. Ten seconds per hundred is pretty big. While 2:32/100 is still damned slow, it's an amazing breakthrough for me!