Swimming Nature: The Lowdown
Having recently completed my learn front crawl swimming lessons, I'm pretty sure I have a good overall grasp of how to swim. Only a few months ago I was a breast-stroke-only zone, and now in advance of my looming triathlon debut in July, I can proudly rock up to my local pool and whack out 1000 metres of the crawl. Admittedly that's not very far and I need to take breaks every 50-100 metres, but progress is progress and I've been really concentrating on getting that swimming fitness up and trying to make the action of swimming feel 'normal'. If you have ever learnt a new skill as an adult, I'm sure you know what I mean. Throw in trying open water swimming and there's a lot of new info whizzing round my brain at the moment.
That has, however, probably been to the detriment of my swimming technique. Doing drills in the pool is clearly important but let's face it can be dull and sometimes a bit awks - you try turning up to a luxury gym in Soho with some fins and a float and see how that goes down! Since completing my course, I've been practicing two-three times a week but am well aware that a) I am not fast; b) I am probably not swimming/breathing most efficiently - I'm knackered after a couple of lengths. Mastering the basics is one thing but I need tailored and focused help to improve further.
Enter Sam at Swimming Nature, who I spent an hour in a Fitness First pool with last Friday, at an ungodly early time. Swimming Nature's USP is that the classes are one on one, but also the instructor is in the pool with you. I thought I would find the experience slightly daunting as I can be slightly awkward by nature, have never had a PT so am not used to being the object of an instructor's attention - and let's face it,being in bathing suit is not an every day way to spend one's time. However, it was a great experience.
The value of those types of lessons is ten fold compared with being in a class with five to six other people and the teacher being on the side line. Where a teacher is normally trying to explain a way of swimming from the side, stood up, Swimming Nature instructors are right there in the pool able to demonstrate. At one point, I got out of the pool to watch Sam demo, and at other times Sam was dragging me along by my hands (appreciate that sounds hilarious) so I could practice a drill without worrying about sinking (the struggle is real).
I can honestly say that we covered so much in the lesson (push and glide, kicking, ‘catching’, leaning forward and propelling self) that I had so much going on in my brain that I forgot how to swim at the end! Sam - I promise I can normally swim a few lengths of front crawl without totally falling apart, haha.
I was lucky enough to try out Swimming Nature for free, but I would highly recommend for anyone wanting to undo old habits, improve on their speed and skill or even learn how to swim from scratch.