Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I suck at kicking!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011  at 6:30 PM
When I was training for the Holy Half marathon, I had lots to blog about.  I was focused on one sport - running; I was continually improving and wanting to share my improvements, and all the pictures were fresh.  Now, I feel like I'm a whole lot busier in triathlon training, which is expected, but the blogs don't easily flow.  It's almost as if I don't have blog material unless I've done an extraordinary workout or have an amazing picture to show.  All you guys out there in blogger world seem to ALWAYS come up with something interesting and exciting to share, and I love reading your posts, but it's hard to keep up with ya'll!  So, here's what I've got for today.

This morning at the pool, I discovered a fatal flaw in my swim...my kick!  Jennifer and I went to crank out 35 laps, but we started with some just kicking.  It was hilarious!  We got out kickboards, got adjusted to the water, pushed off the wall, and everything was going really well until about the middle of the pool.  All of a sudden, I slowed to stillness while Jenn kept going.  I was kicking like crazy!  I was kicking like I have read and practiced and worked on, "from the hips," but I was almost completely frozen out in the middle of the pool.  I could barely move.  We did 5 laps like this, which felt like an eternity, and then we switched to just pulling for 5 laps.  Once we were done with those, Jenn had a great idea and told me to get us some of the flippers for the lap swimmers.  We slapped those babies on, and low and behold, I was just as fast or faster than her with just kicking.  It was really weird to have a rough time without flippers, but be evenly matched and doing the same thing as before WITH flippers.  I don't really understand it.  I know that women use more legs muscles in the swim and guys use more upper body, but it was like my kicking was doing NOTHING!  I've read lots of internet articles, watched countless youtube videos and even downloaded "Mr. Smooth," but what am I missing?  I feel like I'm doing what this guy says to do, but what's going on with my kick?



How to Kick in Freestyle Swimming —powered by eHow.com

On the the running and biking, I'm sticking pretty well to my plan.  On Sunday, Jennifer and I ran our "long" runs which aren't that long yet.  I did 7, and she did 5.5.  When we left the house, it was simply overcast even though is looked threatening.  It stayed dry on me until about mile 4 when it started to deluge!  It was quite the soggy run, but I actually enjoyed it.  I find that I'm so much more rested in the morning and much faster.  I ended up doing the 7 miles at an average of 8:25min/mile.  I was really happy about that and encouraged about running.  As far as biking, I am really enjoying it too.  I busted out a short 20 miler the other day at 18.4 mph.  That's not too bad on a hilly course.  Josh and I are going big this Sunday with a 75+ mile ride.  We're thinking about a really beautiful course up the coast of Lake Michigan.  We'll see how it goes.

It's Jenn's birthday this Saturday, so we're gonna have a lot of fun.  My thoughts go out to Caratunk Girl  who lost a very good friend.  Good luck to you all as you train!  Keep up the good work!!!

9 comments:

Caratunk Girl

I suck at kicking too, and Mr. Smooth ticks me off, cause I think I am doing what he is doing but I guess I am not. Keep plugging away.

Thank you so much for your thoughts. Trust me, they mean a lot.

Ironman By Thirty

I suck at kicking three. I always use fins otherwise my kick drills would take FOREVER!

Great workouts this week! Enjoy your long ride this weekend!

Fave

kicking is HARD! practice practice practice.

way to go on your run. nice pace. even nicer for a soggy run.

i can't wait to hear about your 75 miler. see that's more to blog about!

Jon

Wanna work on your kick AND your balance all at the same time? Flip over and kick on your back. Its simple, but it works!

A good kick means you have a stronger core which means you have more stability in the water. Even though I really don't kick while actually swimming, I still think having a good kick helps out the overall picture.

DRog

def keep pluggin away swimming is like golf the more you do it the better it gets. Also like golf some days are on some are off. That said listen to people that know and try to implement change and get your stroke and kick down. (which you are doing) I too am suffering big time from blog amnesia! haha

D

it's all about pace

without fins I'd still be in the pool trying to finish a kick set....

Kurt @ Becoming An Ironman

First - do NOT point your toes. That's something you use to teach kids how their legs should look during the flutter/freestyle kick, but if you actively point your toes, you're going to get cramps; especially on long distance swims.

Second - I've always had the same experience with girls being better flutter kickers. It really is a matter of finding the right position, bend, and strength. Literally, play around until you find something that works. After 9 years of competitive swimming, I've gotten up to a consistent slow moving pace with just kicking, but still get lapped by my sister. Once I put on the fins though, my leg muscles overpower her easily. Maybe it's biomechanics - don't know.

But as far as triathlons, very little kick is needed during the swim. It's actually better to not forcefully kick in order to save your legs (as you know already I'm sure).

kessia reyne

kicking... something to keep you humble? ;)

I'm sure you'll get it, though. I mean, if you've got it with flippers on then the right form is in there somewhere. Good luck, Matt!

Colleen

:) You totally aren't alone at this one!!! If you find the secret to perfecting the kick, let all of us know!

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