Monday, 10 March 2014

Underwater ping pong?

Well, another week has flown by and I've managed to squeeze in another 15.5 hours of training through a combination of early mornings and long turbo / treadmill sessions at the weekend.

Had a really good swim session with the ATHelite team on Tuesday, hanging on for dear life to the others speeding away from me in the lane, when, out of the blue, my 'catch' returned and I started swimming quite well (well, for me anyway!). I imagined my hands as paddles (or table tennis bats to be truthful) and this helped to push the water behind me - propelling me forwards.  Fast forwards to my swim session on Friday and I kept this image in my head, I focused on this and the feeling in the water and I managed to complete 20x 100m in 2 minute repeats (i.e. swim 1:45 get 15 sec rest, swim 1:55 get 5 sec rest)... First time I've ever managed this! Well chuffed. I went on to complete 4km (160 lengths) in the pool which was a decent workout, not only physically but mentally too.

I was speaking to my Sports Science class today about Sports Psychology - the role the mind plays in performance. Visualising what success looks like is a really powerful technique and I've used it before when training, imagining what it would feel like to cross the finish line at IM Austria. I've since realised that this visualisation can be used to help improve technique - especially in swimming, where trying to see what you're doing often ends up with you sinking like a stone or swallowing half of the pool!

I'm sure in 20 years this swimming thing will feel like second nature but until then I'll keep pretending I've using table tennis bats under the water - anyone for ping pong?

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