Athlete Journal: Ingrid Kantola, Entry 9 – 4/16/12

Ingrid goes swimming! Find out Ingrid’s experience of combing swimming into a CrossFit workout and what she sees as the most common swim technique mistakes.

Schedule of CrossFit Athlete Journals:

Mondays – Ingrid Kantola

Wednesdays – Travis Holley

Sundays – Michael Winchester

Ingrid Kantola – Athlete Journal 4/16/12

(Read Ingrid’s Bio here)

This weekend the CrossFit Central team took its second trip to the swimming pool. A note about the swimming pool here in Austin – Barton Springs has fish in it. It has grasses growing on the pool floor and ducks swimming. Barton Springs is fed from an actual spring and has beautiful grass covered hillsides that overlook the pool. The water is always 68 degrees and the shallow end bottom is slippery rock. That being said, the pool is perfect for a CrossFit workout on a Sunday morning.

We did a WOD of:

  • 1.5 Mile Run
  • 250m Swim
  • 50 KB Swings
  • 75 Push Ups
  • 100 Squats
  • 250m Swim

This swim WOD was interesting because the second swim was actually easier than the first. We did not get into the water prior to starting the WOD and I realized warming-up would have benefited the entire workout. It was a great workout and I have always left the water feeling refreshed, as the temperature helps to cool you down after a high rep WOD.

The Frogman Challenge in SoCal was this weekend as well. The workouts involved underwater walking with dumbbells, a run/row/500m swim endurance event, “Isabel”/swim sprint/”Grace,” and a 50m sprint interval set. These workouts look like a great addition to the constantly varied aspect of CrossFit.

I grew up swimming every summer and added water polo to the routine from middle school through high school. I am very lucky to have had an extensive swimming background as it makes me comfortable in the water. I am not up for any 7,000m workouts like we did in the peak of training in high school, but I can comfortably work in the water for 15-20 minutes.

My swimming is by no mean perfect, but I can’t exactly see and critique myself. The two things I noticed about my teammates were body positioning and hand entry point. Everyone could float better. Everyone could improve their hip positioning and get their hips high in the water. This would mean that they are not dragging deep under the water, but staying closer to the surface.

The second thing is where my teammates put their hands back into the water when swimming freestyle. One of them would shoot her hands in directly next to her head, not allowing for a full stroke. You should continue forward motion with your hand, the focus on long powerful strokes, not super rapid turnover. Another teammate would cross her hands too far across to the opposite side in front of her head. This means when she pulled down she had to pull across her body, which is inefficient and leads to a wiggly swimming pattern.

Increasing efficiency in the water is the key. With longer more powerful strokes, you are less likely to tire out as quickly and to get across the pool faster! Check out this video of Michael Phelps and make sure your form looks just like his! And get a few warm-up laps before you hit your WOD.

The Regionals WODs come out this week, so check back next Monday for my thoughts on the programs and ideas for how to take on the workouts!

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