Archives for posts with tag: propulsion

This week we will be doing the ratchet set again where we do repeated swims on progressively shorter turnaround times.  This set is good for improving your speed endurance as you will be trying to hold a good pace with some increasingly short rest intervals.  When you look at some of the turnaround times for the set I know it can appear rather daunting as the later turnaround times are shorter than we usually swim.  However, the ratchet set is possible to complete for most of us as demonstrated by many of you before.  My top-3 tips for how to approach this set are:

  1. Relax for at least the first half of the set and longer if possible. Making the turnarounds for the final few swims will require a lot of effort so you need to conserve as much energy early on in the set to be ready.
  2. Stay calm. It is easy to get tense with the pressure of the clock and tight turnarounds but being tense will waste energy and usually result in poorer technique, too.  So just accept that many of us will end up swimming continuously for the final few swims and try and enjoy the challenge of trying to make the continuous swimming happen as late in the set as you can.
  3. Hold your technique. When the going gets tough focus on the basics – minimising drag, maximizing propulsion & breathing well. Only focus on one thing at a time when working on your technique but you can vary it each length.  Length 1 – drag (still head & narrow continuous kick), length 2 – propulsion (high-elbow catch and full length underwater pull past your hips) and length 3 – breathing (emptying lungs completely from your belly, one goggle in water for minimal head movement to breathe).

See you Saturday!

Rob

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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!

Rob

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