It’s time to get back in the pool and blow away those cobwebs from the last few weeks.  This week we’ll be doing mainly aerobic front crawl  and for technique we will be focusing on front crawl head position and breathing.

The best head position on front crawl is looking straight down at the bottom on the pool – keeping your head really still – and one of the most common mistakes many triathletes make is to look forward and have their head too high.  The usual consequence of this is to push your hips and legs below the surface so you end up being not very streamlined and dragging your legs through the water.  A pull buoy or wetsuit will compensate for a high head position – so you can get away with it more when swimming in a wetsuit – but you need to be able to swim streamlined with a good head position whenever you don’t have a pull buoy or wetsuit to help you!  If you need to look forward, try and do it by keeping your head as flat as possible, and if you need to look up at the end of each length please just glance up quickly and get your head back down.

The fastest you will ever swim is with your head completely still and face down in the water.  Unfortunately, unless you are doing a 25 sprint, you are likely to need to breathe at some stage and the most important thing is for your breathing to disrupt your stroke as little as possible.  To do this, turn your head as little as possible and breathe in the bow wave formed near your shoulder.  It will feel like you are looking either at your shoulder or slightly behind you.  See the following video for a good demonstration:

We will be doing some closed-eye drills on Saturday to help practice your breathing – trying to breathe on both sides.  You will close your eye to the side that you are breathing to and the aim is to make sure your open eye then never breaks the surface of the water.  In the video above the swimmer doesn’t quite accomplish this – but does get pretty close.  Your aim will be to achieve this on Saturday – it can be done.

And one more thing…  Please, please, please start in a streamlined position every time you turn and push off the wall with your head down and your arms squeezing your ears together, as shown in the video below:

If you start in this position then you are at least starting each length with your head in the correct position so you just have to maintain it for the remainder of each length!

See you Saturday!

Rob

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