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Travails of a Non-Swimmer

Running on Potatoes


Forty-five minutes at the gym working the machines and I was thinking to myself, “Hey, this kinda feels good. Why didn’t I start doing this years ago?”

Before going to the gym I ate a baked potato with cheese. I wasn’t even a bit hungry after the workout. Could the potato be my solution to the “I’m starving!” sensation after a workout?

Time with the Machines and Pool

  • Chest Press 4.5kg, 20x
  • Sit-up 10x
  • Leg Press 22.5 + 2.3kg, 10x
  • Torso Rotation 14kg, 40x
  • Lat Pulldown 11.5kg, 10x
  • Running 30min = 3km at 5-7km/h, slope 2.0%
  • Diet Trainer 5min @ 25
  • Pool – 60min of breathing drills (see below)
  • Hip Flexer 0x (I forgot to do this!)

After sweating a bit in the gym I headed for the pools and worked on the first breathing drill in Lesson 3 of Total Immersion Swimming: Perpetual Motion Freestyle in Ten Lessons DVD.

A bit of good news! I was able to do the flip faster and more efficiently, drinking in much less water from the nose than I did last time. The remaining problem has to do with flipping underwater, so when I go up for air it takes a few seconds before my face reaches the surface. I really have to solve the “always deep underwater” problem. I know, I know, it’s a balance/posture/alignment problem. I’ll work on that (again) tonight!

I also did the skating position, a lot of it, trying to find a way to keep my breathing shoulder dry. Somehow I can keep my top goggle out of the water, but still not enough to take a bite of air. More practice on the skating position again tonight.

It really helps when I am able to open my chest, suck in my stomach and lightly clench my glutes. But since doing these is not a habit yet I sometimes let go, and become more sinky than ever.

There were two other people sharing the lane with me. One of them was a skinny little man with long hair, and the other was a serious, determined-looking woman. For some reason, despite the fact that she could clearly swim a full lap, she refused to go to the fast lane and insisted on staying on the practice lane with non-swimmers like me. She went back and forth for an entire hour. She was churning up so much water in her freestyle; there was this air of desperation about her.

Later, when the pool closed, I saw her at the locker room and it hit me: she looked so much thinner in the water! How could that be? In land she was almost twice my size (and I’m already fat). No wonder she was working it so hard. You go, girl! But next time, please consider the fast lane :)

Notes to Self: Do

  • Make an effort to tighten your ab muscles and glutes while keeping your arms and legs relaxed in the water. (Yeah, it’s easy to forget but the reason the swimming athletes you admire so much have such amazing bodies is that they use their ab muscles while swimming!)
  • Remember to do your turn on the Hip Flexer machine. I know you don’t like it, but hey, it’s for your own good.

Notes to Self: Don’t

  • Teach hubby diving games while the lifeguard is looking! (Lifeguard came over and asked us to stop)
  • Use a series of strong kicks to do body rotation. That negates the very definition of rotating from the core, as you are actually rotating from kick propulsion.

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  • slf

    You know what’s better than a potato? A sweet potato! They’re easy to grow too. Here‘s some info on growing them in northern climes, in case they’re expensive to buy raw.

    • beverlyclaire

      But sweet potatoes make you fart, I mean, pass gas… Or is it just me? ;-)