Triathlon Swimming Vs Pool Swimming – Issue #46

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Triathlon Swimming Vs Pool Swimming Newsletter

Last weekend, I competed in Masters Nationals for swimming in Mission Viejo, California. Swimmers 18 and over from all over the U.S. come to compete in swimming events.

I swam the 50 and 100 meter freestyle. In these events I had to go against much of what I preach as far as stroke technique goes- my usual long strokes were shorter, and my kick was harder. In freestyle sprinting it’s more about power and strength, unlike open water swimming, where finesse and stroke economy is king.

For those of you that participate in masters swim programs, I was thinking about some of your teammates and even your lane-mates are competitive swimmers.

When you swim with a masters team, make sure to keep in mind that you do not, and should not, always keep up with people in your lane. They may have completely different goals than you (like training for a sprint event), and keeping up may actually be detrimental to your stroke.

So enjoy your masters programs, but keep your goals in mind and never sacrifice technique for speed. In fact the less “competing” you do in your workouts, the better.

Workout of the Month

Let’s keep it short this month and focus on form.

WARM UP: 200 Easy

DRILL/SWIM: 15×50’s.
First 5 are swimming with Fists, middle 5 are fingertip drag (high elbows), last 5 are swimming freestyle. Take 10-15 seconds rest after each 50.

MAIN: 2x(10×25’s)
First set is count strokes. See if you can lower your stroke count. Notice what it takes to get a low stroke count (extending, gliding more, rotating hips) without kicking harder. Play with different stroke counts and see what works.

Second set is adjusting speeds. Descend (go faster) through the first 5. Ascend (slower) the second 5. This is practice on shifting gears. Take 10 seconds rest after each 25.

Finish up with a 200 of alternating backstroke and freestyle by 25 or 50 yards. This will help you focus on hip rotation. If you can’t do backstroke, just take 6 kicks for every stroke and make sure you are rotating from one side to the other.

Next Issue: Surviving the Tri Start