Archives for the month of: March, 2018

Well done for all of your efforts last week in the fast-paced 100s.  I saw some more tired Triathletes last week than I have seen for a long time.  We will calm it down this week a bit with an aerobic main set of 150s.  We will also do a golf-stroke set to work on stroke rate and pursuit swims to keep your speed and work on your drafting and race tactics.

Golf stroke is also all about getting a good balance between stroke length and stroke rate.  It is a simple mathematical fact that your swim speed is just the product of your stroke length (distance per stroke) and stroke rate (in strokes per minute).  So you can swim faster by increasing either stroke length or stroke rate so long as you increase one by more than you decrease the other (if at all).  So measuring your golf stroke is a great way to see what works best for you to achieve this.

Most of us do pretty well with stroke length (distance per stroke) so this week we will work on stroke rate.  I find most people are better at increasing stroke rate, without significantly reducing stroke length, by focusing on either a faster push (i.e. back-end of the stroke) or faster leg-kick.  The alternative – rushing the catch – is usually a sure-fire way of reducing your distance per stroke.  So when we do golf stroke this week please try either the faster legs or faster push at the end of your pull and see what works best for you to get your arms spinning faster.

See you Saturday!

Rob

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A few of you have asked me about the next time trials that are due at the end of the month as it clashes with Easter.  It seems the numbers will probably be low if we do the time trials over Easter weekend so I will delay them a couple of weeks until mid April so most of you that want to do them can.

This also gives us a bit more time for preparation so this week we will work on pace judgement in the main set.  The two drills in the warm-up are reverse catch-up and straight-arm recovery.  Reverse catch-up gives you time to keep thinking about being patient with the catch, as we have for the past two weeks, and straight-arm recovery a chance to start increasing your stroke rate ahead of the main set.

The main set consists of blocks of 4 or 5 x 100s with short recovery at your 400m race pace.  This is a great opportunity to take your time and judge your effort across each block and keep a consistent pace.  As I have said many times before, and many of you do know, most people will start to slow down in the 3rd quarter of the set (i.e. the 3rd 100 in a block of 4) so try and pace yourself so this doesn’t happen.  If you get it wrong don’t worry – that is why we practice and it’s a great way to learn – so do your best and play with your pace judgement this week!

See you Saturday,

Rob

Photo by Veri Ivanova on Unsplash

Please accept my apologies for two mistakes I made last week – for mucking up my blog post and for giving lane 4 too short a session.  Well done, however, for coping with my mistakes (as all good triathletes cope with mishaps) and all of your excellent efforts during the very high intensity USRPT set we did.  I saw some of the most tired triathletes after that session that I have seen so far this year.  What was even more pleasing, though, was that most people did the set as intended – swimming at 5s intervals and missing out 2 or 3 50s when their time dropped off – rather than doing the “I’m a tough triathlete thing” of ploughing all the way through the set without missing any out.  Given I hadn’t got my blog post published to remind you that was great to see!

My post last week was all about patience, which you can see here, and I want to continue the theme this week with the drills we will be doing before the main set.  We will be doing hip-connector drill again as well as reverse catch-up to give you the chance to practise being patient with the catch.  When doing hip connector drill aim to only practise the timing of the catch and not to get any propulsion whatsoever (that will all come from your legs).  Do the same with reverse catch-up and focus on getting all of your propulsion from the push at the end of your stroke.  Then transfer that into the full stroke as well.

The main set is the revised version of the Brownlee main set we tried in the late Summer last year with progressively-paced 100s of progressively shorter turnaround times.  As you do this main set please try to keep your patience with the catch and focus on getting the extra speed all from the back-end push part of your stroke and faster stroke rate.

 

See you Saturday!

Rob

 

Photo by Chris Coe on Unsplash

It was really interesting to see people doing hip-connector drill last week.  The most common issue it highlighted was many of you rushing the catch of the stroke and trying to apply some power too soon in your stroke so being inefficient by pressing the water downwards rather than backwards.  Although the hip-connector drill is really designed to think about timing rotation with your catch it did show up a rushed catch for many of you, which I was pleased to see you corrected when I asked you to be a bit more patient.

This week we will be doing some Unco and reverse catch-up drills before the main set and I’d like you to think about being patient with the catch by counting 1-2-3 with each stroke.  1 is when your hand enters the water, 2 is taking your hand to the catch or early-vertical-forearm position and 3 is for the push.  Take a slight pause after 1, 2 and 3 to focus on the next phase.  Having a bit more patience, especially after 2, is a good way to make sure your forearm is completely vertical before starting the real power phase of the stroke with a push.

For the main set we will be doing our first set of USRPT 50s for 2018.  This is a great set of high-intensity interval training and I have written several times before about how to tackle this set (in this post for example.)  Every time we do this set I am amazed by the number of people who do this set without missing out any 50s.  You do get a good workout by doing this but it is not the way to get the most benefit from the set.  This set is all about swimming faster than is sustainable so your times will inevitably drop off and when they do you should miss out the next 50 to give you the additional recovery to swim faster again.  So if you are tempted to try and go all the way through without missing any out then please try and swim a bit faster!

See you Saturday,

Rob

 

Good work last week on our tough set of the prime 100s.  That was the longest main set we have done so far in 2018 and with some of the shortest turnaround times.  If you didn’t manage the vary the pace of CSS +/- 2 s through all of the set don’t worry – it takes a few attempts to be able to pace that sort of set correctly all the way throughout the set.  Something to work on next time we do it!

I want to continue the theme this week of searching for “easy speed” by working on your core rotation.  Your core provides great power to your stroke, for little effort, when you get the timing right.  So we will be doing some of the “hip-connector” and “power rotation” drills we have done before (see here for a reminder).  Then we will go into the ratchet set as the main set, with shortening turnaround times, to give you a chance to practise your core rotation in search of the “easy speed” to help make all of the turnaround times.

See you Saturday!

Rob

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