11 January 2013

Vanilla Side Swimming with Toys

Posted by Brad Hefta-Gaub under: Swim.

Vanilla side? Yep. In Total Immersion we learned about how each of our sides (left or right) feels a little different. We learned to give each side a non-judgmental label. My left arm side is my Vanilla side. If I was going to be judgmental, I might call it my weaker side. But, I want to embrace my Vanilla side, so I’m not going to call it “weak”.

When I breath on my vanilla side, my lead arm (my left arm) drops too soon, before my raised arm gets back into the water. This makes me sink, and causes drag.

When I concentrate, I will keep my left/lead arm out pointing creating a nice bow of my vessel. I’d like to make this more effortless, so that I don’t fade and don’t fall into bad habits.

So today, I swam only breathing on my right side, with left arm leading, aka, my Vanilla side. I also incorporated toys like fins and hand paddles to try to exaggerate my motions and feel the dynamics of what my body is doing wrong and right when I’m on my vanilla side.

Fins and Paddles make you swim faster… but they also give your muscles more of a workout. This is caused by the increased force against the water. So, bonus, I got more of a swimming resistance workout too.

All in all, a good day in the pool.


  • Type: Swim
  • Date: 01/11/2013
  • Time: 08:50:00
  • Total Time: 00:52:18.00
  • Calories: 427
  • Distance: 2,743.2 m
  • Average Pace: 1:54.13/100m

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One Comment so far...

shebaduhkitty Says:

12 January 2013 at 7:16 pm.

So mynew swim coach is a long distance competition swimmer. So he gets the need for triathlon endurance swimming. He hasnt heard of TI but so far his drills seem to fit and meet the same needs. So I am liking my class.


About Brad

Me in 2002 - 200lbsThis is my fitness blog. Some people who knew me a long time ago may wonder, what the heck I'm doing writing a blog about fitness. Many of them wouldn't imagine that I'd have anything to do with fitness. You see, up until age 34, I treated my body very poorly. I sat around at home, at work, at play. I ate junk food and lots of it. And the result was what you'd expect 5'4" and 200 lbs with 36% body fat. (more...)