It seems as soon as I am able to understand the problem and articulate the question clearly, the answer all at once is everwhere.
Pete and Jen both spoke to me about my kick this week. On Sunday Pete made me swim back and forth and videotaped me while I was trying to flutter kick 50m without drowning. He told me that I needed to adjust my kicking and my poor technique was why I was so exhausted whenever I switched from two beat to flutter. Jen swum behind me in the pool on Monday and told me I was bending my knees too much. She suggested I try to feel the water on the top of my foot and practice locking my knees.
What Not to Do: screen grab demonstrating extreme knee bend.
As soon as I adjusted the kick I felt the connection I had been so badly missing. Of course I hadn't been feeling the transferance of power from my legs to my torso, there was no power. Bending my knees as badly as I did meant that the power stopped there - at my knees. Once I adjusted my kick a little I felt the glide lengthen as the momentum from the kick moved from my leg, up through my torso, down my arm and out my fingers. We did some stroke counts at the end of the class and I was down to 37 and then 36. Definitely an improvement.
I came home Tuesday to a blog comment from Eric Van riet Paap who mentioned rotations and upper body strengh - both of which are significant issues for me. The new kick is definitely helping with the rotations but I am also working on rotating more every time I get in the pool. In terms of upper body strength, I have been working with a physiotherapist for months now trying to build up my shoulder and upper body strength and will continue to do so.
I have a long way to go but I now have a direction to point myself in. Thanks to Pete and Jen for the awesome coaching and personalized attention I get from them both. And thanks to Eric for watching the video and commenting.
Every reminder helps!