Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Low Hanging Fruit: Improve Your Swim Technique

Do you simply “power through” your swim workouts like you power through frozen veggies, or do you truly enjoy them?

Would you rather slow dance with a black bear than swim one extra time a week?

Have you been hitting virtually the same swim times since Stockton rocked the short shorts?

This was most definitely me, and in my mind’s eye I can see many of you nodding in agreement. If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, or in general would like to get faster and have more fun swimming, read on!

A few months ago I began hearing whispers of Swim First Analysis, a local company led by ex-BYU rock star swimmer Jordan Fletcher. Word on the street was he used cool tech stuff and actual science to help hacks like me swim with proper technique.

It seemed 100% worthy of an interview, and eventually we found a day to meet at his laboratory (AKA Marv Jensen rec center in South Jordan). I thought we’d do a typical interview, and maybe he’d watch me splash around and give a few pointers. Instead, he offered to run me through the 1st phase of the Swim First Analysis process, complete with the cool stuff.

In exchange, I offered to write an honest assessment of the experience a few weeks later… if it didn’t provide much value, I’d tell you. If it was great, I’d tell you that too.

He agreed.

  • This was absolutely the most productive and fun swim session I’ve ever done
  • I actually look forward to swimming again
  • 3 things I’d been told by non-triathlete masters coaches (and had implemented into my stroke) were DEAD WRONG
  • After a few weeks of collecting “evidence” in the pool, I’m faster… no doubt

Summary of what we did:
  • A decent warm-up, with Jordan picking his spots to shoot some underwater footage. We then analyzed it, and right off the bat my reaction was vintage Steve Urkel… did I do that?? I didn’t know I did that!
  • The next phase was with these cool sensor things that go on your shoulders, elbows, and in between your fingers. We did several 25’s, then huddled up by the computer to go over the video + “force diagrams” of my stroke. This shows visually where your pull is strongest, any “dead spots,” your turnover rate, pulling motion, etc, etc.

  • Combined with Jordan’s expertise, there was now a treasure trove of information, and Jordan offered (in my case) 3 key things to work on as I took notes
  • The rest of the time was doing drills to get the feel of how to improve those 3 things. For example, we laid a mirror at the bottom of the pool. Jordan held me in place with a cord as I swam over the mirror, breathing through a snorkel. This allowed me to watch my stroke over and over again, with Jordan offering feedback along the way

Since meeting with Jordan, I’ve been working to build his feedback into my muscle memory, and have already seen my times drop significantly on sets I’ve done for years (at the same heart rate). It’s honestly been surprising.

Overall, I HIGHLY recommend checking these guys out. As you know, swimming is so technical, and your things to work on will be unique to you. It’s worth finding out!

Why endure endless frozen veggies when you can taste the delicious, low hanging fruit of better technique??

Main Site: Swim First Analysis

IG: @SwimFirst

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