Now it’s February we will start increasing the pace so will have some progressive-paced swims alongside the usual steady-paced aerobic work.  We will also be doing some more work on the catch and pulling with the forearm.

As we pick up the pace it is important to try and stay as relaxed as possible and hold your technique together when you swim faster.  There are a number of things you can do to help with this.  You can actively think about your stroke and trying to keep it relaxed as you put more effort in – using things like stroke count to objectively monitor how efficient you are able to keep your stroke as you pick up the pace.  You can also use some passive tricks – of thinking about saving yourself for the next swim rep – so you stay relaxed and fast on the swim before.  For example, many of us find that when we have a hard interval coming up, such as a 50 Fly, we subconsciously relax beforehand and still find we are swimming quickly.  Some of the progressively paced sets we will be doing, where you need to get faster each time but may not have that much rest, are good for this so feel free to try this approach this week and see if it works for you.

The short technique set we will do this week will be head-up front crawl and some front crawl with fists.  The work with fists is the same as last week and gives you chance to think about really using your forearms to pull.  Try and keep your stroke count as low as possible when doing this to get the most from it.  Head-up front crawl is a great drill to help you focus on a strong catch as well as increasing your stroke rate.  It is also hard work, too, as your high head position pushes your hips down so you need to kick hard to keep your head above water.  For a video on this I think the following is good:

See you Saturday!