Well done to everyone who did the time trials last week.  We will now be going back to regular pre-season training in the Saturday sessions for the next 8 weeks or so before we do some more time trials in May.  The main aim of the sessions will be to get ready for racing quickly at the start of the triathlon season in May and doing another set of time trials then will be a good measure of progress over this block of sessions.

Hopefully you learnt from the time trials three main things – how good your pace judgement currently is, how fast you are relative to previous time trials and what your current 400m race pace is.  These are good to know when training as the pace to swim some of my sets will be defined in terms of your 400m race pace.  Of course, I know everyone checks their pace all the time in my sessions but if you do occasionally forget I will try and remind you by sometimes asking what pace per 100 you’ve been swimming…

Whether you were pleased or disappointed with your time trial time last week I think it is important to think about why you swam the time you did so you can focus on what is most likely to help you improve next time.  If you are only doing 1 swimming session a week at present then improving your swimming fitness is likely to be a good way to improve.  However, if you are already doing 3 sessions or more per week already then the biggest improvement may well come by improving your technique.  You need to have a good technique when swimming slowly, as a good base to build on, but also to be able to maintain a good technique when swimming at race pace and when you are tired.

There are lots of things you can try to see what helps.  Asking for feedback from coaches or fellow swimmers is one and you can measure the effect of different changes during sets by making an adjustment and seeing the effect on your 100m pace.  One thing I often see going wrong when people try and swim fast is that they rush the underwater catch, by trying too hard to rip their hands through the water, and so drop their elbows and slip water.  Instead, some people find it more useful to think about keeping the catch slow and just squeezing the water harder during the pull and making sure you keep squeezing all the way to the end of each pull.  What works is likely to be different for all of us but I do think it is good to experiment with different things to see what works for you.

See you Saturday!

Rob

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