For the first time ever, something a swim coach said about technique actually made sense. In the past, I've struggled with conflicting philosophies on how I should be swimming, and I never knew who to listen to or what to follow. One person wanted me to swim with shorter but quicker strokes. Another wanted me to swim long. Someone else suggested shallower strokes. I tried it all, and nothing felt quite right. I just became more and more confused.
That changed tonight when Coach Karen pulled me aside during masters and told me I've been over-reaching with my stroke and crossing over diagonally. She said: "Imagine you're on a paddleboard and you want to reach out in front of you. And then imagine that while you're doing this, you're trying to reach over a barrel."
And I understood what she was telling me.
And suddenly I was swimming faster and more efficiently -- enough so that I kept touching the toes of the person swimming in front of me. And I actually led a set tonight, too, which never happens since I am usually the slowest person in the class.
I ended up swimming 2,650 yards, or a little more than 1.5 miles. I practiced breathing out of both sides. And I didn't struggle or feel desperate. It was absolutely awesome.
Of course, I was ravenous afterward.
I guess that's what happens when you swim farther and faster!