Monthly Archives: January 2015

Pause and Check your Breathing

630px-Hold-Your-Breath-Underwater-for-Long-Periods-of-Time-Step-3So, you get stuck in traffic on the way to the pool which makes you late. You’re already stressed from work. Then you find out you’ve left your towel at home. You get changed anyway (the thought of drying off afterwards using paper towels from the changing room bathroom very much on your mind). You walk to the pool. You enter the water. You put your face in and let your feet leave the floor.

You glide…

… pause your thoughts…

… take time to relax your body from the face down…

… check your breathing…

… think about the out-breath…

… just let it happen…

… regain your feet… take a breath (enough to say a short sentence)… glide again…

… check your breathing…

You feel less stressed.

Now you can start to think about swimming.

 

Ripple Practice

ripplesWhen you are practising an element of your stroke, it is useful to break the practice down into a five step sequence in order to keep yourself in the moment and avoid rushing. The five steps are:

  • entry
  • glide
  • movement
  • glide
  • exit

There is a gentle rhythm to this sequence that reminds me of ripples in water.

I Can See Clearly Now by Colin (Guest blogger)

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I count myself as very lucky. I am generally in good health and do not have any disabilities or chronic conditions. Except for my eyesight – I have been short-sighted all my life and wear glasses all the time. As I see it, swimming pools or sea water and glasses are not a good combination. My specs are quite expensive, so having them knocked off by a rogue wave or corroded by chlorine-based chemicals has always been a concern. And yet, I often see people swimming with their glasses on, but always feel that it must be awkward.
There are a number of reasons why I did not come to swimming until late in life and my eyesight was one of them. I felt insecure going into water of any real depth and feeling blind just made that insecurity much worse. Then, one day, somebody told me that it is easy to get goggles with corrective lenses at a very reasonable cost. So that is what I now use. I discovered that they are available from my optician, who will fit the appropriate lens for each eye. The correction is, of course, just a simple number of diopters; there is no spherical correction for astigmatism etc., but for most people that is no problem. I have also found a website that specializes in vision correcting goggles etc.: http://www.prescription-swimming-goggles.co.uk/
Having gained some confidence, I have recently been swimming in my glasses [keeping my head above water], with no eye-wear at all [eyes closed when underwater] and using a non-correcting snorkel mask. In every case, I was fine, but glad to have the correcting goggles available most of the time. I have lost count of the times that I have surprised people with the information that such goggles are easily available and sensibly priced. If you have vision problems and want to improve your swimming experience, I urge you to give them a try.