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Travails of a Non-Swimmer

Getting Back In the Groove

White plum blossoms

After a week of no swimming I felt that I’ve “forgotten” how to do it. So tonight I spent the first half hour doing drills in the 18m pool (Superman glide, one-arm Superman glide, Switch drills with interrupted breathing, then with continuous breathing, Marionette arm drill, Nodding exercises). For the next half hour I moved to the 25m pool and did my sets: 6 x 25m for crawl, 4 x 50m for backstroke.

New Medicine

I threw in an extra lap each because I felt guilty about messing up practice yesterday with my runny nose caused by pollen allergy.

To solve the pollen allergy problem, I went to the drugstore and told the pharmacist that the popular antihistamine brand I was taking didn’t work anymore. It seemed fine last year, but not this year. So she recommended another brand. I took it after dinner, before going to the gym. It seemed to work, with me only needing to blow my nose a couple of times during the two hours in the gym/pool.

I guess I’ll be using the new brand this year, and then when it stops working, move on to another one. It’s a temporary solution for sure, but as long as my nose stops running during pool practice then I’m fine.

Non-Favorite Drills

Since I have a persistent weak side, which can only be solved by drilling with focus on said side, I need to start writing up a practice menu each day. If I don’t then I’ll just do my favorite drills and skip the hard part of working the weak side.

I doubt I’ll ever be able to swim continuously and effortlessly unless I solve this niggling problem.

I’m starting to feel that one of the reasons I breathe so much better to the left is that the lead arm is my right hand. I write with my left hand, but that’s about it. Everything else, including brushing my teeth, I use my right hand. I hold the computer mouse with my right hand. I hold the spoon or chopsticks on my right hand. Since I hardly hand-write (except when sketching ideas) but use the keyboard most of the time, my left hand is not being put to use. Perhaps it is atrophying. What I do know is that I have a problem keeping it from pushing down on the water during my breathing stroke to the right.

I’ll try to switch hands when brushing my teeth. Also, will force myself to hold the chopsticks with my left hand. After a month, I’ll see if there’s a notable difference.

Nothing will substitute for drilling more on the weak side, though. Thus the need for a “just do it” menu.

Time with the Machines and Pool

  • Lat Pulldown 11.5kg, 20x
  • Low Row 16kg, 10x
  • Chest Press 4.5kg, 20x
  • Sit-up 20x
  • Leg Press 22.5 + 4.5kg, 20x
  • Torso Rotation 14kg, 40x
  • Triceps Press 4.5kg, 20x
  • Hip Flexer 10x
  • Abdominal 5 + 4.4kg, 20x
  • Back Extension 10x
  • Running 30min = 4km at 5.5-8.5km/h, slope 0.0%
  • Diet Trainer 5min @ 20
  • Pool 60min = 30min of drills, 30min of whole stroke sets
  • Recumbent Exercise Bike No bike tonight
  • Mechanical Horse No horse tonightn


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  • slf

    Go Nike!
    I’m more reliant on my left hand than you are (writing, eating, fine manipulation) but my right hand does most of the heavy stuff, too.

    • beverlyclaire

      Yesterday I tried brushing my teeth with my left hand. Felt quite strange, but if I do it everyday I think I’ll get the hang of it :) Since I spend more time on the keyboard than writing by hand I really need to find other ways to work my left hand/arm. Even when vacuuming my right arm does most of the work. Come to think of it, when putting on make-up it’s also my right hand that does the work…