Don’t do any more drills until you read this!

Posted Ella Villas Articles

I’m back in California after a little trip to Tennessee and Kentucky for a wedding.

I managed to get one open water swim in, in a lake right outside of Nashville. Beautiful conditions, and felt great!

There’s a lot of emphasis on drills when it comes to getting better at swimming.

And rightly so- drill work is the foundation for better technique, and ultimately, success in swimming and triathlon.

However, back in my masters swimming days, drills were completely mindless. Sometimes the workout board would just read:

400 Drill

What is anyone supposed to do with that?

Think of a drill and do it, with no reason or purpose?

I see no point in that. You might as well get out of the pool and work on your tan instead!

The point of drill work is to be ultra-focused on just one thing.

If you’re wondering what to focus on today and can’t think of anything fancy, just do some kicking on your side. This can help any level swimmer- it works on your body position, as well as your balance in the water.

Instead of “400 Drill”, I would give a set like:

6x75s Kick-Swim-Kick by 25

This means you’ll be kicking a length, swimming a length, then kicking again, then taking a rest. All of the kicking will be done on your side.

This is not meant to be done fast, at all. It’s meant to be done with full concentration. The rest you take does not matter.

Another go-to drill I use is fist drill. Just swim freestyle with your hands in fists. You will be forced to focus on hip rotation, and doing this drill with every workout will lead to better form, and that “sliding through the water” feeling eventually.

Need a more focused plan? We have introductory and 12-week swim training plans in Tri Swim Success. You can join and get everything, including video demos of each drill, and know exactly when to be doing what for your training:

Tri Swim Success Training Plan

Befriend the water!