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The best of both worlds (for backstrokers)

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This morning I got in a last swim at my beloved Florida pool before heading back to New York tomorrow. It was hopping during am lap swim--I actually had to split a lane for part of my workout, which is rare here. Hereís what I did:

1000 lcm warmup

8 x 100: odds FR @ 2:00, evens FR/BK at 2:00, 1:50, 1:40, 1:30

Then I joined up with a couple of my winter swimming buddies who were at the pool for the following:

3 x 400 @ 7:30 [I did the first FR, the 2nd FR/BK by 50s, the 3rd FR/BK by 100s]

300 warmdown

I had an aha moment on the first of those 400s. I was trying to maintain a 6-beat kick on my FR. My usual kick is more of a 2-beat foot plunk, and Iíve always found switching to a 6-beat frustrating because it tires me out without making me go much faster. I think this is because I have let this kick flatten out my stroke; if I focus on using two of those six beats to rotate myself, then my kick suddenly feels more powerful.

Also, for the 400s I moved over to a lane under the short-course flags so that I could swim by the others doing the set. This meant I had backstroke flags (for the poolís scy setup) strung right over my lane. The only drawback to swimming outdoors, for me, is the lack of any ceiling to keep me on the straight and narrow during backstroke. Swimming in lanes 2 or 7, where the backstroke flags for the perpendicular short course lanes are strung, solves this problem perfectly. I think hosts of outdoor meets could easily recoup a significant portion of their meet expenditures by auctioning off the rights to swim in these lanes for backstroke events.

Tomorrow is a travel dayóno swimming. But I have enjoyed working out in this outdoor pool, and look forward to returning here this winter.

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