Total Immersion Level 1 (3rd Quarter)

Classes 5 and 6 are in the bag, and the first level of my Total Immersion journey is 75% done! These classes introduced little new material. Instead, we focused on building our “house of cards,” starting with dryland exercises and progressing through pool exercises, focusing on different aspects our our new swim mechanics.

I had just one practice session between classes 4 and 5, and made it to the pool twice between classes 5 and 6. During these sessions, I focused mostly on breathing (my achilles heel). After a frustrating session, I went back and re-read Shane’s summary email (I love that he sends summary emails after each session) and read about timing the breath with the entry and extension of the lead arm. This was my focus for the next two practices, and I could sense some good improvement.

During class 6, Shane handed out some tempo trainers for us to try, before videoing us. I remembered when Amy got her first tempo trainer during her class, and was really excited to try this out. It was, as with any new drill, revealing to me how different things are when you change your focus. By focusing on snapping my hips with the beat (set every 1.4 seconds), I found I had a more precise stroke, and felt that my legs did less flailing than they usually do.

Bring on the Video

Video feedback is going to be great. Shane awed us when he paused the playback while we were watching each other’s videos in the hot tub, and proceeded to draw on top of the video so we could see the points he was making. Very cool. Very professional. My video is below, and I am taking away two things that I kind of knew, but were really reinforced by seeing. Seeing is believing!

  • Engage my shoulders even more for the entry and extension of my lead arm. I think more dryland will help here, and a renewed focus as I swim on doing this.
  • Not dropping my lead arm too soon after I breathe. My patient lead arm is not quite patient enough, especially when I breathe to the right. Again, will focus on this as I practice.


This is part of a bi-weekly series on my Total Immersion learning experiences. If you arrived here and are wondering what Total Immersion is or why I’m doing it, read about my swimming and who inspired me to take this on in my early forties.

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