After a couple of weeks of non-stop kicking drills I think I am finally starting to get what my legs are supposed to be doing. On Friday Jen interspersed flutter and fly kicking drills throughtout the sets. After 4.5km I could barely stand when I got out of the pool. This morning Pete had us break down our entire kick technique and focus on initiating from the hip, and using our glutes and quads to power the kick downward and upward. We worked on both the technique and timing of kicking.
My thighs and core and hip flexors are tired and sore which is great because it means all those muscles are waking up.
In terms of visible progress, my 500m benchmark last week was 9:09. Clearly, kicking more powerfully has helped my time. At 300m I began kicking more deeply from the hip to really propel me forward and at 400m I switched from two-beat to flutter kick, focusing on the feeling of water against the front of my foot, pushing the kick deep. As soon as I hit the wall and Jen gave me my time I thought to myself "I want to get below 9 mintues". It's clear that I need my legs in order to do that.
So, even though my thighs are burning and feel like jello when I get out of the pool, it looks like there is no end of the kicking drills in sight for me.