I arrived nice and early and tried to take a sneaky pic for you Clanettes, the view from the entrance, so you could picture where I am when I'm talking about the lessons. Its a lovely pool, nicer than where I go to swim usually. You can see the two instructors - Chris is in the yellow top, he takes my group.
Then we picked up the floats to keep us from using our arms and concentrated on our legs for breast stroke, before looking at reach in front crawl and keeping ourselves floating whilst swimming back stroke.
I realised that I get most of my speed from my arms in breast stroke, and I should actually be propelling myself with mostly just my legs. I have altered my technique (hard to describe, but I now bring my feet to my bum and snap them out, rather than trying to form my legs into a circle.. yeah.. hard to describe!) and I can feel it is quicker, but man it is tiring! I went swimming last night (Monday) and practised both front crawl and breast stroke and could really feel where my muscles are not used to the new technique - I haven't felt so hideous in the water for a long time, and that was nice actually. Making a change felt good. I am going to have to just stick with practise for a while I think, and concentrate on making the suggested adjustments, rather than swimming for time or distance right now.
Anyway, I digress. So yes, the instructor is really good at showing correct form and with our goggles we are able to watch him demonstrate under the water as well as on top. Then we practise in our pairs and he critiques. Its really interesting to watch the others do it as well, what looks like great technique is often slow and with a couple of tweaks, its soon speeded up.
For front crawl I have realised that my breathing is all down to my reach (how far I push my hand into the water ahead of me), the longer my reach, the more time I have to turn my head.. and I need to just relax! I've been so scared of the breathing thing I have avoided the stroke! I'm learning to just kick for all I'm worth with my legs (tiring! particular after a killer turbo sesh!), but practise my three stroke breathing and just stick with it. Better form can come when I'm confident I won't drown and I don't end every length out of breath.
I'm hoping to get another swim session in this week, and I am already eager for lesson number 3.. Swim fast.. Be the dolphin..