Support your local municipal pool by not pissing in the water.

I tried something new today since my Monday swims have been sabotaged twice in a row by the pool I use being slick with human scum from the weekend locals. It’s good to mix things up, or so I hear.I live a very short bike ride from the Culver City Plunge, our local municipal pool. It’s got some wacky hours, but they do have a long course, Olympic length lap lane swim from 6am-9am. I took the cruiser over this morning to give it a test run.

Sadly, my f&%king fancy kryptonite bike lock key broke off in the lock after dicking with it for 10 minutes in the parking lot. I wrapped the bike up in a chain and crossed my fingers that my little Mayberry town would be nice to me. By the time I got in the pool I had about a half an hour left to swim, but was able to crank out some long laps without having to turn around after 27 breaths.

It’s now finally time to go Buy Stuff:

Freestyle paddles or hand paddles Used to improve stroke efficiency and arm strength.

I already own a pull buoy, but I need to start using the damn thing.

A dumb ass kickboard.

Why do I need all these things? Because my stroke sucks, it’s totally inefficient, and it’s costing me more energy  to correct sloppy stroke than to train myself to do it right. The tools above help train proper form so when you take them away the body maintains proper form.

Paddles ensure that your hands enter and exit the water smoothly (because the shape of the paddle will splash if you’re doing it wrong). It builds strength by creating a larger surface area to pull water through, and it forces you to raise your elbow higher out of the water because your hands have to clear the surface without creating drag.

The pull buoy is squeezed between the thighs and elevates the lower body to increase back strength, create a proprioception of where the hips and legs ought to be in the water for buoyancy, and forces the upper body to work harder to create motion.

And finally, the dumbass kickboard works because it’s the best way to train a rapid kick from the hips.

I’ve just been diving into the water and busting out longer and longer freestyle sets, ending with some backstroke to even out my shoulder rotation. If I want to get through the swim better I have to get stronger and more efficient. So it’s off to the swim store, and maybe even the gym later today.

Maybe I should finally join a master’s class.

Right.

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