Lapping it up at the Pool

The boys wanted a break from the gym, and G1 promised to do laps at the pool so I decided to join them as well. They say you should shake things up a bit and vary your exercise routine so your body doesn’t get a chance to adapt. It is also a good way to keep building fitness. Since most of my workouts are land exercises, I figure that adding swimming to the mix is about as varied as I’m going to get.


I kept pace with G1, who is now swimming a lot better and faster than I remembered. I had to push myself to catch up to him at some points and found myself panting at the pool ends and grateful when he decided to break. He ditched me after 25 laps (1 lap being one length of the pool, which is 25m), which I must say was more effort than I expected from him.

Garmin Stats:

  • Distance: 1050m
  • Moving Time: 42 minutes 47 seconds
  • Best Pace: 1.06 min/100m
  • Average Pace: 4.46 min/100m
  • Calories: 127
  • Total Time: 50 minutes 6 seconds

That might not sound like much, but I came out of that pool feeling dizzy with jelly legs. Although, I’m sure I could have worked harder on the treadmill or the rower. Even G1 concurred that swimming was easier than running on the treadmill or using the elliptical cycle.

According to my Garmin records, this is my first time back in the pool since February. Based on the stats I recorded from that session, I don’t think I did too badly:

  • Distance: 600m
  • Moving Time: 22 minutes 22 seconds
  • Best Pace: 1.41 min/100m
  • Average Pace: 4.39 min/100m
  • Calories: 72
  • Total Time: 23 minutes 14 seconds

Swimming Better

The goal now is to increase my speed, but my favoured stroke is breaststroke and I’m inclined to agree with this statement:

“Most swimmers consider breaststroke to be a slow, leisurely stroke. This is valid. Heck, sometimes you can even feel like you’re moving backwards! If it seems like frogs are swimming past you…” – Swim Outlet

Although I can swim faster with the front crawl, I can’t seem to work out the breathing. Before I can even get one length of the pool, I’m already out of breath. I’ve tried patterns of two strokes, three strokes and four strokes – three works the best, but even that’s a struggle for me.

As it turns out, there are still a few things I can do to speed up the breaststroke:

  • keep your face down – as much as possible.
  • keep your hips up with your spine straight and near the surface of the water.
  • when you kick out, keep your knees facing the bottom of the pool and don’t kick too wide.
  • ditto with your arms – aim for shoulder width distance.
  • point your fingertips down and lock your wrist – use your hands and arms like a scoop.
  • separate the kick and the pull – “pull-glide-kick-glide”

Let’s see if there’s a speed improvement in the next round.

Published by Shen-Li

SHEN-LI LEE is the author of “Brainchild: Secrets to Unlocking Your Child’s Potential”. She is also the founder of (a website on parenting, education, child development) and (a website on Right Brain Education, cognitive development, and maximising potentials). In her spare time, she blogs on Forty, Fit & Fed, and Back to Basics.

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