Friday, April 27, 2007

Back in the Saddle

Quite literally. Yesterday, I finally got back to really training, including sitting in a bike saddle for an hour at spin class.

As I was determining what to write, I thought it might be helpful to share one of my swim workouts. This is a fairly easy workout for focusing on technique and efficiency. Keep track of your times and challenge yourself, but don't try to break any records. This workout is about feeling strong and smooth in the water.

Warm up
200 swim
100 kick
100 pull
2x50 fist swimming
1x50 left arm only \_2x
1x50 right arm only/
2x50 choice of drill
Main set
600 free
6x100 interval swim (I use 2:20)
600 free
Warm down
100 swim

Quick definitions for the technique drills:
Fist swimming is just like your normal freestyle stroke, except that you clench your hands into fists. Concentrate on using your whole arm to pull. To achieve proper form, imagine you're wrapping your arm around a barrel with each stroke.
When swimming with one arm, alternate between keeping your hand at your side and having your hand in front of you. Keep your face down and in the water. When your stationary hand is ahead, breathe away from it; when it's by your side, breathe on that side. Focus on having good body roll and keeping your hips still, not swaying side to side like a snake.

For the interval swim, pick a moderately challenging interval. I use 2:20 because I generally swim 100 M between 2:10 and 2:15. Whatever you pick, your heartrate shouldn't dip too low while you're resting. That defeats the whole point of interval swimming.

Also, I recommend swimming in a long course pool, if you have one available to you.

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