Swim Slower and Burn More Calories
Companies seem to be forever marketing stuff with catchy slogans that
can't possibly be true. Like how you can get slim doing very modest
exercise for a few minutes three times a week.
But the title of this post IS true!
This is all old ground for the user group, but I still found it
Given all the interest lately in kick times, swim ratios to kick
ratios, etc. I resolved to start using a 6-beat kick for all my
swimming. It's not the first time I've made that vow. I figured I
would start by simply using 6 tiny kicks, and as I got better
conditioned, I would start emphasizing every third beat with a bigger
downbeat where the power kicks are in a typical 2-beat kick. (If you
look at Donald Graft's video site you can see Diana Munz using that
pattern.) And if I ever got into really good shape, I would be
nailing all 6.
So what happened. Well, I embarked on the latest kick adventure on
the distance day. When you're swimming 6 500's in a row, that's not
an easy day to start kicking a lot more.
So of course I was probably 10-20% slower than usual. Maybe it's due
to my lack of fitness kicking, or not having the balance down. As
Larry has pointed out, conventional swim doctrine these days says that
lactate produced by the arms can be burned by the legs. So I kept
telling myself to keep that "lactate burning factory" below the belt
going even when my legs started feeling like lead. So I started off
leading a lane of 3 or 4 swimmers, the guy behind would "tickle my
toes" somewhere in the set, so I'd realize I was holding him up and
let him through. Of course by the end I was dead-last in the lane and
suffering like a dog. I then looked over at lane 1, where there are
men and women who swim on the University team going up and down the
pool, and none of them have a 6-beat.
I eat nearly the same thing everyday, but my stomach was growling like
crazy after so much kicking. Empirical proof to me that all the
studies indicating that losing weight running is a great idea, while
trying to lose weight swimming can be a tough proposition.
So I figure the only way to start kicking is drop down one lane or two
in speed in the pool, swim for at least 6 weeks, and then see if it's
worth continuing with that style. But would 6 weeks even make much of
a difference? Elite swimmers have literally a decade of kickboard
history in their legs.
But for now I think I'll back to swimming the way a lot of rec
swimmers do - deep, straight armed catch on both sides to maintain
momentum, and very little kicking.
If anyone has success morphing into a kicker, I'd like to hear how
they did it.