Today was a good day at the pool, and a good day overall as well. The swims were low intensity, long sets and I was on my own on the lane (I did this practice after hours due to conflict with following the finals).
As I was on my own I decided to go really relaxed and forget the times. It was also a good opportunity to practice my secret weapon: the 10stroke cycle. The 10 stroke cycle works better in open water swim or long pools, but if you’re on your own on a 25m pool, you can have good fun practicing it.
It goes like this: pull from the wall, three strokes, breathe, three strokes, beathe, two strokes, breathe, two strokes, breathe and lift the head till the nose is at the water level, watch the buoy, or the wall, and start again. I have reached a point where my strokes are pretty well balanced, and my breathing is OK from either left or right. However I still prefer to start with my left arm, meaning that I’ll have to breathe on my left hand side more often.
The 10stroke cycle is something that I did for me and I’m not sure it will work for someone else, but I can tell you some of the advantages, though.
For starters it is a good way to concentrate, if you’re counting and making sure you’re on the right track, whatever happens in the surroundings evaporates and you’re just swimming.
Secondly, I is good for navigation. Lifting the head every 10 strokes is as much as you need in most of the open water swims. Even with 5feet swell I’ve had no troubles doing this stroke cycle.
Another good point is that it allows for good alternation of speed and strength in your stroke, without altering the breathing pattern too much. Very often I see other swimmers sticking to 3 or 4 strokes for every breath at the beginning, and then slowly loosing time with a 2 stroke last 400m.
To be fair, I’d have to list some cons of this swim stroke. I can only think of two: the first one is that it is very individual and it hasn’t been tested in a lot of athletes…. So you’re forgiven if you don’t buy.
The second disadvantage is that it does require a good adaptation period, and many of us don’t hit the open water often enough.
I will continue to use this until someone proves me wrong, so if you adopt this style please don’t forget to cite the source : )
Date 12 July
Sport Swim / run
Time 60min / 60min
Dist: 3.2km / 8km
Comment: all pacey, patience will get me there