Thursday, December 8, 2011

Total Immersion - Lesson 1

So, I am pretty much the slowest swimmer ever.   I learned how to to swim the summer of 2009.  I did my first mile+ swim in January 2010.  It was the 1 Hour Postal swim. I swam 2100 yards in an hour.  In September of this year, I did another hour baseline swim & I swam 2200 years in 61 minutes.  Not much improvement in speed over the past 2 years.

I have been thinking on what to do to help improve my swimming technique.  I used to swim with Masters but the cost & schedule was a little tough.   After I joined the Y, I was considering taking private swim lessons.  Recently, I have read a few positive comments about Total Immersion.  I received an Amazon gift card from Active Ambassadors a couple of weeks ago & decided to use it to buy the Total Immersion DVD & book. (Sorry to anyone that thought I was taking an actual class.  I would love to but the closest one seems to be about 5 hours away.)

I ordered it last Tuesday.  I was surprised when it arrived the next day since I selected the Free standard shipping option.  I immediately started reading the book but didn't pop in the DVD until Saturday morning.   There are 8 lessons on the DVD.   I wanted to watch the entire DVD but Steve told me not to since I would get it all confused in my head when I tried to actually do the lessons.  I knew he was right so I stuck to only watching lesson 1. 

I decided it would be good to do a 500 yard baseline before starting the program.  I figure I will work on each lesson for about a week before moving on to the next one.   At the end of the program I will re-time my 500 yard swim.  I should be done with the program around February 1st.

After watching the first lesson a few times & taking some notes I headed to the pool.  I did a 100 yard warm up & then did my 500 yard time trial.  My 500 yard time was 13m15s.   Yeah, I know, TONS of room for improvement! 

After I finished my time trial I started on the Lesson 1 drills.  They include the following:

Superman Glide
Superman Flutter
Laser Lead Flutter
Core Balance Position
Core Balance Breath

I didn't have much problem at all with the Superman Glide & Flutter or the Laser Lead Flutter.  I did have problems with the Core Balance Position last Saturday.  Basically you are supposed to push off & glide while rotating your shoulder out of the water.  I could not for the life of me do it.  I tried several times & then I would go back to doing the Superman flutter then try the core balance again.  Still couldn't do it.  After about 35 minutes of drilling I decided that was enough drills for the day.  I swam another 500 yards then water jogged for about 5 minutes.

I watched the video a few more times but couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong.  I went back on Monday morning to give it another shot.  After a 500 yard warm up I started the drills again.  I immediately figured out my problem.  I was trying to do the Core Balance without kicking.  Duh.  It was super easy once I figured that out.  I drilled for about 30 minutes & finished off with 15 minutes of water jogging.

I did the same routine Wednesday morning.  One interesting thing I noticed is that I could cover the same distance in the Superman glide in less than 2 push offs.  When I did the drill on Saturday it took 3-4 push offs. 

My goal is to get in the pool 3-4 times a week to work on these drills.  For the next 2 months I am going to focus on drills & swimming for fun.  I plan to leave my watch in my gym bag until I am ready to do the next baseline.


  1. I have already professed my love for TI so you know how much I endorse it! I am really curious to see how you like it. I swam yesterday for the first time since I broke my toe!!!!!! I was so happy to get in there but man was I slow. You would have been the second slowest swimmer yesterday because I got first place in that category. Keep us updated on how it is going!

  2. THey hold TI swim clinics, maybe that is an option for you

  3. I can't wait to hear how it goes. I need to get that. I have got to get in there and practice. After this month it will be easier for me to make time.

  4. what a good idea! oddly enough, i was a lifeguard for years, but i'm not that great of a swimmer. i mean, i can swim, but i have no technique at all!



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