Different Strokes

After a hard, yet rewarding, run yesterday, my run workout this morning was barely a warm up. A thirty minute run staying in zone two. I went to the gym so I could swim after. Even a short, easy run is still a fun run. It was nice to not push hard yet get my legs moving. I also am in the middle of another good book, so I took advantage of the time to read as well. Multitasking at its finest…

My swim today was nothing short of a humbling experience. A friend suggested a swim workout with the goal of working other muscle groups by adding different strokes. Just when I got to a pace in freestyle that is almost with the”pack”, I found myself today barely moving in the water despite my kicking and stroking. My entire swim came to 2,500 meters, the main set was 1,600 meters and all but 400 meters was freestyle. One part was 4 x 50 meters back stroke. My first thought was it shouldn’t be too bad, at least I can breath easy while I swim. That thought quickly vanished, it was my slowest stroke. My brief experience taught me that a strong kick is essential in back stroke. My first two 50 meters took 2:05 and 1:55. Yes, the time I am able to swim 100 meters freestyle. I put on my fins for the last two 50’s, what a difference! Both 50’s took 1:17. Now, I do not plan on always using fins, which in the end are a crutch that is counter productive, but it helped me understand where I need to focus. Another addition was 4 x 50 meters breast stroke. This stroke also appears to be less challenging, until I did it. I wasn’t as slow as back stroke, but it will take time. I did each 50 around 1:35. Technique is critical for breast stroke. I may work with the life guard a few times to improve my technique.

While my total swim time today for 2,500 meters took me close to 10 minutes longer than usual, it was a good challenge. Mixing things up and taking on new challenges helps me see where I need to improve and helps me grow. There was a time that I would have felt like a failure for being so slow. Rather than quitting, now I am determined to improve. Triathlon only involves freestyle, but mastering other strokes will only help my overall fitness. Sometimes it takes humbling experiences like today to shake me up to new, and hopefully better, possibilities. Different strokes along my journey of enjoying this wonderful life.

2 thoughts on “Different Strokes

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  1. I couldn’t agree more and I’ve never tried anything but freestyle. Maybe once I can get that to an acceptable level ill give the other strokes a try. I did notice that fly was missing?

    1. Yes, fly was missing. As it will continue to remain MIA… I swim, I bike, I run. I don’t need to fly! Seriously though, that has to be the most difficult and technical stroke. Maybe one day… Thank you for commenting!

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