I’ve picked up an injury this week which was either due to running, cycling or swimming but I don’t really know which. I ran over 10k on Sunday morning which shouldn’t have been a problem but for the fact that it was over mixed terrain and had one very steep climb in it. I didn’t feel any pain afterwards but when swimming on Monday night I felt a cramp like pain at the bottom of my hamstrings as I brought my legs up to turn. I tried not to push off too hard but this pain persisted and I slowed down and in the end cut short the swim session.
The next morning I might have compounded the problem with a quick ride into work. The lights were fairly kind to me over the first 5 miles so I was on course for a quickest ever ride and then 5 red lights along Trafford Road killed my momentum and spoilt my time. The pain behind my knees came on over Tuesday night and whilst the left improved the right got worse over the next 24 hours. The pain was most noticeable as I stood up from my chair in the office, once moving I could walk okay and running might not have aggrevated it further but I didn’t test it out until this evening when I managed a super-steady 5k trot keeping my heart rate below 142bpm for a recovery rather than an aerobic workout. Leg should be fine for a ride in tomorrow after a couple of days off the bike.
Yesterday I went to TriCentral at Trafford Park straight after work for a bit of swim coaching and boy did I need it. They have an endless pool with 4 cameras around it to record your movement through the water and offer you feedback to correct and improve your stroke. Andy set the current going in the pool and I swam for about a minute which was enough to show him that I needed a lot of help, I could almost see the pound signs rolling across his eyes. Over the last 9 months I have changed my crawl stroke so that I’m breathing on alternate sides; so every 3 strokes rather than every 4 which I had never felt at ease with. I can swim 40 lengths crawl without stopping but I realised that to progress further and swim faster my technique needed to improve.
The minute footage of me thrashing around like a madman in the water made me realise how much help I needed. My legs were all over the place, I was over-reaching with my arms and slashing them through the water without generating much force and my whole body was twisting like I was having a fit. I knew I needed to be flatter in the water, my legs needed to be together, my kick needed to be rhythmic and controlled but didn’t know where to start.
We spent the next 30 minutes going through a single drill to develop a flutter-kick and keep me level in the water. We did move on to a second exercise where I twisted my body before returning to the flat position but I didn’t really get it and I compromised what I’d learnt in the first exercise so we went back to basics. I had taken advantage of a £10 discount on sessions they were running there but I can’t really afford to go back monthly to develop further. I’ve got plenty to think about already and if I can sort out my kick and get flatter in the water I should find I’m swimming quicker without putting in any more effort. Once my technique is improved I’ll try to develop some strength and speed but for the next few weeks a really need to hold myself back and think about my flutter kick until it becomes second nature.