Monday, 21 December 2009

Winter training

Despite having had a broken ankle I have resumed my regular swimming routine. In fact as soon as the cast was off I was back in the pool. My turnip shaped (and coloured) foot became a sight pool staff became innured to. To begin with just getting to the edge of the pool was tough and a journey fraught with hazards. However after dragging myself painully around on dry land it was a liberation to be immersed and unable to fall over or lose balance with unthinkable consequences. For weeks now I have been able to swim faster than I can walk. In fact in 20minutes I swim about 1km, I just couldn't walk that far in any amount of time.

This winter swimming training is motivated by a desire to keep up strength and stamina needed for kayaking, and I do it every winter never mind the state of my bones. What has been interesting to me has been how my swimming fitness has been improved by my ankle fracture. Naturally more inclined to pull than kick, this has been magnified by ankle pain.

As the weeks go by I kick more easily and am returning to a more balanced stroke. I am convinced that swimming in a technically correct way will enhance paddling. Body rotation, reach and catch are all mirrored in swimming. Feel for the water is developed. Breathing is balanced and rythmical. Transfer of energy is a continuous process. Turning involves changing direction in the most energy efficient way.

I think next season I might include some coastal swims.
Just as well I know some friendly kayakers.

In fact I might just swim past here, 'the whalebone' at Birasy, a few metres from where I broke my ankle. Should I have taken it as a sign?!

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