Archives for the month of: October, 2014

What is your swimming goal this Winter?  I am keen to learn whether or not you have one and if so what it is.  It could be just to keep swimming  fit and have fun.  It could be to maintain your times as you focus on goals to improve your bike or run.  One of you I know has a goal of getting their 400m time trial time down to 6 minutes.  What is yours?

If you have one, and are happy to share it, then I would be really keen to hear what it is as this helps me plan sessions around what most people are trying to achieve.  You can let me know by posting a comment on this blog, sending me an email or speaking to me on Saturday.

This week we will be doing some backstroke technique alongside the usual aerobic front crawl.  You can read my previous post here on this for a reminder!

See you Saturday,

Rob

Three things to be aware of about the session this week – extra coaching, improving your catch and sprinting.

Both Chrissie and myself will be there for the 8am-9:15am session to coach again so please do take advantage of the extra coaching.  To make it easier for us to watch you, and film you if you would like, we will change the lanes everyone is swimming in.  So, lane 3 swimmers will be in lane 4, lane 4 swimmers in lane 3, lane 2 swimmers in lane 1 and lane 1 swimmers in lane 2.  We will do this for both sessions, to keep it simple and also for a change in the way everyone turns at each end.  The sets will still be set for your “original” lane though so don’t get any ideas about having a session that is too easy or too hard!

We will be doing some work to focus on the catch this week.  You will probably be bored of me talking about it now but I will keep banging on about it as it is still the area I think most of us can improve.  I would recommend reading my previous post on this for some detail and good videos.  But the most important thing I want you to work on is the quick catch drill.  If you get it – great, keep working on it.  If you don’t, please do persevere and try and find that strong, quick catch that gives you a surge of power and makes you feel like you really have hold of the water.  Different things work for different people.  Some ideas that I know work for some of you that you can try are:

  • Imagining swimming over the top of your hand, keeping your elbow high
  • Imaging trying to get your hand onto a barrel or something solid underwater to push yourself past
  • Doing a strong front to mid scull to really feel the water
  • Just saying “quick” in your head every time you enter the water

Finally, we will be finishing off the session tomorrow with some 25 sprints, for a few different reasons.  Firstly, it is good preparation for those that will be heading up to the National Master Swimming Championships in Sheffield next weekend.  Secondly, it is great high intensity training and a change from the aerobic swimming we will be doing for most of the session.  And finally, and most importantly, 25 sprints are fun – but please do try and look like a proper swimmer when you are sprinting and kick your legs as hard and fast as you can!

See you Saturday,

Rob

This week we will be doing some breast stroke alongside our usual aerobic front crawl.  Also, both Chrissie and myself will be coaching the 8am to 9:15am session so you will get more chance to get some coaching.

Breast stroke is very different from front crawl in many respects but the breast stroke pull has a lot of similarities to the first part of the front crawl pull so I think it a great stroke to help practice the catch with a high vertical forearm.  You can re-read my previous post on this subject here or watch a different video of what a good breast stroke looks like here.

I will also bring along a camera for filming those that want to see a bit more about what they are doing, both above and under the water.  Over the next few weeks I will bring along the camera as often as I can and will also try to get extra coaches to some of the sessions.  It won’t be every week, but we will try to do it as often as possible as now is the perfect time of year to be thinking about your stroke and what changes you should work on over the Winter.

See you Saturday!

Rob

Now the main triathlon season has finished for most of us we will be moving into Winter training.  This period of Winter training before Christmas is my favourite as it’s the perfect time of year to have a bit more variety in our swimming sets and try and few different things.  The objective is still the same – to try and improve our triathlon swim – but we are far enough away from competitive racing to spend a bit more time trying to improve all round swimming ability rather than focusing on race pace fitness.  Hence, on Saturday mornings we will be doing

  • some more different strokes, as we did at this time last year,
  • more technique work than we have done in the summer alongside our usual aerobic-paced swims, and
  • some other general swimming skills sets with the aim of making you more comfortable in the water and better all-round swimmers

This week we will be doing some technique work focusing on shoulder rotation as well as some individual medley swims (butterfly, backstroke, breast stroke and front crawl) alongside the steady-paced aerobic front crawl sets.  I know many of you find some of the other strokes hard work so my general advice when approaching these is to try and relax, don’t fight the water and try and make them feel as comfortable and efficient as you do when you’re swimming a steady front crawl swim.  If you want advice on specific strokes there are a few articles I wrote last year – so use the search box to read some of my thoughts for the stroke you to know more about – or ask me in the session on Saturday.

See you Saturday!

Rob

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