A technical session to help with a return to pool swim fitness by Dan Bullock of Swim for Tri
While we all love swimming in open water it is hard to argue that using the pool for specific training is hard to beat. This session will help your technique and fitness, build some distance and keep you concentrating on the frequent technical aspects. Work through as far as you are comfortable to, or in the time you have available.
How to get the best from it
Regardless of the length of pool the same theory applies. Drills performed at the start of each length are made easier from the push off which will aid body position for a short while. The drills will mould the stroke and improve it before flowing into your fullstroke for the rest of the length. Continue back into full stroke when you feel the body position sinking and the drill suffering. Feel the drill flow into your full stroke and shape and improve your technique as you launch into the second part of the session where a little more endurance is involved.
Adapting the Session
Double arm backstroke. A great way to relax the chest and shoulders after a lot of FC. Add a pullbuoy to really allow you a chance to relax. A nice alternate if you have not yet mastered full stroke Backstroke.
Black line. If by some chance you can get a single lane, swim on top of the black line on the bottom and use it to help guide the hands pulling under the body. Push water back towards the feet, never to the bottom of the pool.
Central snorkel. Use one so that you can watch the hands pulling under the body. This will also temporarily remove the head turn for breathing allowing more concentration on the drills and full stroke. Add a noseclip if you struggle with this piece of equipment.
Rest more if needed. If you have taken a break from swimming (over holidays or because of the pandemic) don’t worry about taking extra rest if you need to.
This session can easily be swum without swim toys, but they will help your body position and the accuracy of your drills. If you can find a pool that allows swim equipment it will help. The combination of paddles with fins is a great way to accelerate your fitness while using the swim aids to keep your swim technique on track. This mix of distance and drills will help your fitness but the constant punctuation with technical pointers will really help your form resume and hopefully improve.
What is strong swimming?
When swimming feels fast it often isn’t. Bubbles and splash can give the illusion of speed, but it rarely translates. Build to a fast pace that is controlled where you can feel elements of the earlier technical work helping. Never feel out of control of your swim technique.
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Swim for Tri, based in London but now coaching across the UK, is a swim technique and coaching concept brought to you by the brother and sister team of Dan and Keeley Bullock. The team share over 50 years experience of competitive swimming, coaching, teaching swim lessons and direct involvement with the sport of Triathlon and Openwater racing as competitors and Coaches.