Day 106 of the Great Big Marathon 10k Swimming Adventure: The B-Word and some involuntary dry-land work

How much butterfly do you swim as part of a daily swimming workout? I used to dread having to do fly, even when I swam competitively as a kid. I never felt comfortable with the stroke.

All the more reason to tackle the discipline.

Hehe, look at the humans doing a dolphin kick mate! (CC Image by Sweetbananadreams)
Hehe, look at the humans doing a dolphin kick mate! (CC Image by Sweetbananadreams)

As part of the Swimming Adventure, I have decided make a go of it. Beat the B-Word. Also, when you consider:

  1. …there is a lot of distance to cover every morning. A bit of variety goes a long way towards making the daily 5k even more enjoyable.
  2. …there is no reason not to! I feel like I finally have enough strength, technique and endurance now to tackle the stroke properly. Or maybe just the cocky confidence since hardly anyone will see me splashing like a drunk dolphin just after 6am on a typical weekday morning.
  3. …others are doing it: I have been really inspired by the likes of Vicki Keith or Julie Bradshaw, who swam the English Channel in butterfly (!), Dan Projansky aka Mr. Butterfly and the amazing Sylle, to look at butterfly again. I struggle to do a proper 100m with that stroke at the moment, and these guys cover several marathon distances this way. Incredible.
  4. …it wil help to build both strength and endurance

Ok, so this past week I have asked one of the triathletes who are there regularly to look at my fly stroke and give me some feedback. She is a former competitive butterfly swimmer, and not one to hold back on opinions, so I knew she would give me something to work with! That said, she said my stroke wasn’t bad (that’s German for a compliment) and I should make sure I keep my hips limber (what is it with male swimmers and stiff hips?!) and stretch out more when the arms go to the front. Orrighty. Been focusing on that, doing some short fly sets, and a few IMs, and really am enjoying this.

Speaking of enjoyable: The weather this week was anything but. In fact, it was terrible and even dangerous.

We had a severe thunderstorm ripping through Bavaria, it took several lives; Munich’s central train station had to be evacuated for a while. Since then, loads of snow has been piling up. I was unable to actually get to work on Wednesday, so instead of swimming I spent an hour from 7am to 8am on the elliptical trainer that my wife has organized for herself. The experience wasn’t half-bad, all things considered; it also reminded me of a few muscles the swimming does not target the same way (the side of the shins and down to the ankles, for instance). And also that I really like my exercise in water.

Since this time is a huge and important festival for those of us who are of the Christian variety, with loads of festivities, family and community events, I am skipping the pool for four days this week. I will do some planks and push ups, but mostly focus on resting up a bit. In training terms, this will be a nice short break, and then off to proper exercise on Tuesday morning. I finished the week early on Thursday with a 5.6k workout, swimming almost a solid two hours before dashing off to work, and I am hoping to do something very similar early in the next week.