Swimming Again!

Hurt my ankle a couple weeks ago so running has been problematic. Something about an achilles insertion point thing? I dunno. I start PT on Thursday and expect to get much more educated on that. But, thankfully, swimming is back on the menu!

Swimming has been tough this Spring since the gyms all closed. We’ve added resistance band workouts to work the same muscles and movements (and I think that’s been helpful) but it just doesn’t have the same water “feel” and effort involved. And, strangely enough, it turns out I like to swim (shhh… don’t tell anyone).

Thankfully, we locally have some options again.

Last week I was able to get two sessions at the local SwimLabs shop which is about 20-25 minutes from home. They are taking care to limit how many are in the building at a time and are generally safe by current standards.

The SwimLab pools are interesting. Basically a big tank and a machine up front that creates a current for you to swim against. You swim in place. Big bonus here is mirrors on the bottom and an underwater camera on a 15 second delay. So, you can observe your form while swimming and then pop up and look at the nearby large monitor and see your last 15 seconds of swimming. Very cool! Great for working on swim mechanics, assuming you know what you are looking for.🙄

I didn’t love it though. Probably a personal thing — and probably would get used to it over time… but yeah, not for me. I did my two sessions and was not really looking forward to going back. You can control the speed of the current, which is helpful, but you’re then locked into that speed for the duration of the swim segment. So, I found myself farting around with speed all through my workout. Faster helped keep my legs up, but caused me to start going diagonal. Slower was easier, but legs would sink and I’d over-swim and punch the front wall.

Thankfully, coach lined up access to a private pool. Too short for lap swimming, but we can tether swim. This is where you use some elastic/bungie type cords and tie something around your waist to the something on the edge of your pool. Thankfully, this feels much more like swimming (except when the loop leaves your waist and ties your feet together. I hear some people like this sort of thing, but they’re weird and this is a family rated site).

Did my first session in that pool this afternoon and loved it. Is it open water or even lap swimming? No, but for right now it is definitely good enough and for me definitely the right option. Water was a little chilly, but hey I’m always up for an excuse to swim with the [bouyant] wet suit on so I was not complaining.

And the best part is that 2 hours later now as I write this I have a pleasant burn in a set of muscles directly related to swimming. And that can only mean progress.

Open water swim is coming soon, too. Sooner for some crazier than me though — I think I’ll wait for water in the 60s at least. Got signed up for a local place about 25 minutes away and looking forward to it. I love open water swims as long as the water doesn’t freeze my face off 🥶.

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