An intention and starting are incredibly valuable

I have been catching up on swimming videos, especially for longer distances and those related to freestyle.  Even within this stroke, there are different styles of moving, from a shoulder driven to a hip driven technique.  The breakdowns of stages of stroke, including arm recovery, show how crucial arm strokes to core connection allows the whole body to drive propulsion and not just the small shoulder muscles.  Legs are more for balance at longer distances.  In other words, the more integrated I can make the movement; streamline body position and balance in the water, the more efficient and less taxing the swim.  To give you some context, water is estimated to be 800 times as dense as air, so streamlining and correct technique have a massive impact.  For a short-course (25m) pool, there are more tumble-turns and opportunity for dolphin kick (the fastest method of propulsion) so spending time on these, relates to less distance to reach the end, fewer strokes and therefore less strain.  When tiredness comes, technique and speed are affected.   Furthermore, there aren’t many sports that are characterised by a type of voluntary asphyxiation (we can’t breathe water).

The yoga I do, three times a week roughly, is very good at working different muscle groups, connective tissue and breath control.  The core and shoulder strengthening and sense of whole body-weight movement protect against injury.  I usually pick some online videos to follow.  Alo Yoga, Breathe and Flow, Patrick and Carling and Yoga with Adriene are my preferred choices.  I could do my own moves as I had been attending Breeze Yoga, Beckenham for about a year and a half before shifting to working from home.  They have fantastic teachers and a contribution based Saturday afternoon Community Class by guest teachers.

I run about three to four times a week to maintain stamina.  I am fortunate to have some undisturbed spaces around me, and choose to exercise before work.  I usually encounter wildlife and incredibly beautiful spaces, so bring my camera.

One of the most helpful thoughts is to start the night before: get the running or yoga clothing out and just take a step outside or get on the mat.  I applaud and praise anyone just starting, turning up, getting outside and so on.

Thank you everyone who has sent their kind words and donations even when I am not swimming.