This week we’ll be taking a break from some of the higher intensity work we’ve been doing recently to do some steady-paced reps and, to make it a bit different, doing some breast stroke as well.  Going a bit steadier than usual is a good opportunity to think about your technique and make sure you are swimming as efficiently as possible.  So I would encourage you to think about the basic of fast and efficient swimming, namely reducing drag and maximising propulsion.

Most of you know all the basics about reducing drag – keeping flat in the water, with your head looking down, and keeping a straight line without any side-to-side snaking with your hips.  You also know the basics of maximizing propulsion by getting that nice, high-elbow catch of the water and using your whole hand and forearm with a nice long pull.  However, one thing that I see a lot of when watching you train is an increase in drag caused by trying to catch too early.

If you start pressing the water down hard after your hand entry into the water it feels good because you are putting effort in and, like all good triathletes, we all like to put effort in and try hard.  However, if you press the water down you push yourselves upwards more than forwards which both wastes effort and increases your drag as you bob up and down with each stroke.  So this week I’d like you all to try thinking about being patient at the catch.  This means waiting until your hand is under your head, with a vertical forearm in the water due to your wonderful high elbows, before applying power.  This also has the added benefit of engaging your bigger muscles in your back rather than your shoulders.  Doing this well will make you more efficient and make your longer swims less tiring at a faster pace.

See you Saturday!