Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The Return of 'Flipper'

It may not have been easy to go today, but swimming felt much better this time. I began tightening up around 400 yards, but loosened up pretty quickly to swim 2,800 yards:

1,800 yards free
1,000 yards IM (4 x 200 yards each stroke, 50 yards kick)

I've been slowly extending my no-rest distances, and almost considered swimming the full 2,000 yards in that first set, but I wanted something to work toward. Yeah, that's what it was.

At one point I began to get a little tired, so I picked up my kicking and it was smooth sailing from there. It's incredible what a little kicking can do! But kicking seems to be a problem with many people: some have trouble remembering, others don't do it enough, and even more just do it wrong.

I'm not sure what your feeling is about using flippers for swim training, but I think it's all wrong. Call me a swimming purist. While flippers ("fins") can be useful for increasing your leg strength, improving ankle flexibilty and just swimming faster, most people I see aren't using them for much more than vanity swimming. Case in point: Flipper.

Flipper is a middle-aged hotshot who frequents the Kent State rec. center pool from time to time and uses flippers to pump up his ego. His arms flop limply in the water and he smirks at swimmers as he goes by. I shouldn't be so concerned with someone else, he's the guy who gave flippers a bad name. I can't stand for that.

So, what can I do? Out-swim him, of course (hey I warned you of this problem). There's some thrill in beating a guy who like to intimidate others, but it's also kind of fun to out-swim a decent swimmer while he's wearing flippers and I'm not.

My badge for the 'Flipper Police,' by the way, should be arriving in the mail sometime this week. Just don't be that guy.

But if you would like unbiased information about flipper use, read "Swimming with Flippers" from the Endurance Coach.