I went to swim class on Friday, and after a warm up, I got settled into the DMC Pop Lock stroke, and funked my way down the pool. I was so tired of fighting it. I just wanted to enjoy being in the pool again, so I decided this was just going to be my signature ‘thing’. Paula Radcliffe bobs her head funny when she runs, Haile Gebrselassie runs with his left arm hooked tighter than his right, DMC does the robot when she swims. Done, right?
Coach says no, I have to fix this. I am laboring too much and I will be exhausted by the time I get to the first transition. He says I mostly need to stop THINKING so much. Which is hard. I am a nerd. Apparently I am also an Overglider and my extremely technical approach to training is holding me back. Check the link for a complete description of all the stroke problems I have. It really is like they wrote this specifically for me.
We settled into the lesson for the week, and we learned another variation of the single arm drill. I learned this back in Swim 1, but this time I had no glide arm in front to guide me, I had to fully rotate to the opposite side to breathe after each stroke. It felt odd, but it wasn’t hard, and it was actually pretty fun. After a few laps of this, we switched back to freestyle.
It felt different. My stroke rate was quicker and it felt easier to get the propulsion I needed. Coach walked down the lane, watching my stroke and after a lap, pulled me over.
‘THIS is your drill. You dropped your dead spot, smoothed your stroke out and your timing and rotation are almost perfect. Keep going, keep going, keep going.’
A few more laps and then he had me add more extension to my reach and it felt even better. Then I added bilateral breathing, and for the first time, didn’t feel like I was going to suck water down every time I breathed to my left side.
I am to work on other drills as needed, but to ALWAYS end with this one before my workout sets.
So there it is. Single arm 'choke stroke' drill is the key to unlocking my pop lock.