I'm very new to swimming. Don't get me wrong I could do enough before to not drown and I've been scuba certified for 20+ years, but there's a big difference between free style and what I was doing before and I recognize that. I'm 5'2", 150 lbs. I'm not what you'd call fat, but my 48 year old body is not what it was when I was 22. I run (lots of half marathons) and bike (lots of century's) and I'm training for a sprint tri in May.
I have the Easy Freestyle: 21st Century DVD and I have watched every TI video I can find on the web at least 10 times, some particular favorites I've watched hundreds of replays. I would love to get a TI coach but that just isn't happening where I live and unfortunately the timing for the nearest workshop is just not in the cards - thus I turn to the experts (and anyone with more experience than me) to answer a couple of questions.
1) My biggest challenge is keeping my face in the water beyond 2 strokes, sometimes 4 without needing to roll and breathe. I can breathe fine in SS (I am comfortable in the water) and I have been doing lots of SG's, but I'm concerned that I'm imprinting something negative. I spent 45 minutes this morning doing drills before I did any whole stroke. By the time I finished drilling, I could SG the length of the pool (25y) in 3.5 glides with no push off.
I devised a drill where I do SG until I need a breath, breath right, stroke left and go back into a glide with little to no kick repeating that the length of the pool and continue gliding for a count of 10. I switched and did the next set with a left breath, etc. It seemed to help and I'm hoping that if I continue to do this I'll build into 4 and 6 strokes between breaths. Is there anything wrong with this drill? If so please tell me before I screw up and make it even worse.
2) I need help understanding how to get power out of my hips to help propel myself forward. I counted this morning and on average it takes 28 strokes to get from one end of the pool to the other. I'm keeping a patient extended arm, holding it until the entering arm passes my ear. I just don't seem to be getting any propulsion from the core as a whole and I know that does not come from kicking.
I will post video asap - just waiting for bigger memory to show up for the camera.