Thursday, 17 February 2011

A Study Of Alfonso

As I arrived at the Lido this morning I noticed a very elegant swimmer powering up the pool - I wasn't quite sure who it was ... I hadn't immediately recognised the stroke ... taking a closer look though and judging by the stylish way this swimmer's hands reached forward and entered the water so smoothly, I concluded that it could only be the one and only Alfonso! I had a good chance to take quite a few photos of Alfonso as he swam six lengths. The water temperature still only shows 5.5 Celsius!

Alfonso simply glides along - one arm fully stretched out for maximum glide while the other arm has just come out of the water, getting ready to reach forward again to complete the cycle

the right arm forward, Alfonso's hand about to make contact with the surface of the water while the left arm is pulling under water and coming backwards

here you can see the under water technique - the arm is pushing down

Alfonso is actually a swimming teacher - he applies the Total Immersion technique -
Funny that his green cap takes on the colour yellow when under water !

here Alfonso is coming to the deep end of pool

and pushing off again under water - notice that his arms are fully stretched out - one hand placed on top of the other, head between the arms to minimize resistance - like a pencil cutting through water - his legs could be closer together and stretched out but here he is already starting his kick

Mr Bubbles and Alfonso are great sparring partners - specially in the summer months when they push each other to swim faster - Today Mr. Bubbles got in the pool after Alfonso. Alex is on his first lengths while Alfonso is on his sixth and last of the morning - Today, their friendly rivalry was of course extended and Alex who has been swimming six length for the past few days, had to swim eight today!

here another image showing the classic freestyle movement -
right arm just about to come back as the left hand is about to enter the water

here the rotation while taking a breath

Mr. Bubbles seems more buoyant -
head position is a bit higher and his rotation is less obvious - mind you he swim faster than Alfonso!

that's it - time to get out and to the sauna ...
but not before having a word with me for the boo!

By now Chris and Sue are also in the pool - they swam four lengths - Mr. Bubbles on his sixth length caught up with them from far down the pool -

he didn't stop there .. oh nooo - he swam another two lengths which made it eight - more than he's done so far in the new year - here you can again see the difference in style - Alex's hand is at an angle, his thumb and hand seem to be pushing the water away which makes for the bubbles (which he doesn't like making .. ) but hey, as I said before, Alex swims very fast - just image how much faster he would swim if the entry of his hand was smoother :) (creating less resistance)

Remember : it's all about enjoying what we do!
Bernie in her first season of cold water swimming enjoying her two lengths of breaststroke -
she told us in the sauna that she still finds it hard to put her face into 5.5 Celsius - she is doing brilliantly!


  1. They're almost text book illustrations of how to swim, Alfonso is so technically good. I wish I'd swam along side him. Strange how I seem so
    much higher in the water. Brilliant pictures again!

  2. thanx Alex - your underwater picture of Alfonso showing all of his body is great too - it shows that his legs are lower than the rest of his body - apparently typical for male swimmers ... please make it a green door next to complete the set!