Saturday Swim Session: Swim Toys

Utilising swim toys you can develop your strength and enhance your technique.

Tri Coaching NZEach week I will load three options up for you to do. Option A is for swimmers who are after a workout less than 2,000 metres. Option B is for swimmers who are after a workout between 2,000 and 3,000m and Option C will be greater than 3,000m.

Option A

  • 200m Warm Up;
  • 8x 50m (25m Drill/25m Swim);
  • 3x 100m Paddles 20sec RI;
  • 3x 100m Swim 20sec RI;
  • 3x 100m Paddles & Pull Bouy 20sec RI;
  • 200m Cool Down (1,700m)

Option B

  • 400m Warm Up;
  • 8x 50m (25m Drill/25m Swim);
  • 4x 100m Paddles 20sec RI;
  • 4x 100m Swim 20sec RI;
  • 4x 100m Paddles & Pull Bouy 20sec RI;
  • 4x 100m Swim 20sec RI;
  • 200m Cool Down (2,600m)

Option C

  • 600m Warm Up;
  • 12x 50m (25m Drill/25m Swim);
  • 4x 100m Paddles 20sec RI;
  • 4x 100m Swim 20sec RI;
  • 4x 100m Paddles & Pull Bouy 20sec RI;
  • 4x 100m Swim 20sec RI;
  • 4x 100m Pull Bouy 20sec RI
  • 400m Cool Down (3,600m)

Start the workout with a Warm Up covering 200m (Option A), 400m (Option B) or 600m (Option C). During the warm up feel free to stop and stretch as needed.  It doesn’t need to be a continuous swim.

Drill Sets

Swim 25m doing an appropriate drill prior to continuing on with normal freestyle swimming to complete 50m continuously. Pause prior to conducting the next repetition for a total of eight (Option A and B) or twelve (Options C) repetitions.

The pause referred to above is a stop of about 10 seconds. It’s a chance to grab a drink, review the programme and think about the next drill you will do. If you need 15-20 seconds or longer, you are welcome to take it because the rest duration isn’t physiologically critical to the aim of this set. Having a quick break is neurologically critical though, so make sure you don’t just roll straight from one rep to the next.

Some examples of drills can be found by clicking on the name below:

After the drill set we are into the main sets. Each of the main sets includes doing three (Opt A) or four (Opt B & C) repetitions of 100m and taking 20 seconds Rest Interval (RI) after each rep.

Tri Coaching NZ
Hand Paddles

The first set involves swimming with hand paddles. Hand paddles slide onto the hand with finger and wrist straps that increase the surface area of the hand to increase strength during the catch and pulling phases of your swimming stroke. You need to be very careful with their use and not over do things, hence there is only a small amount of the workout done with them on.

The second set only involves regular swimming without the use of any swim toys or training tools.

Tri Training NZ

The third set involves using both hand paddles and a pull buoy. The pull buoy is a buoyant tool that you hold between your legs  They come in various shapes and sizes (as seen below). You hold it firmly between your thighs and avoid kicking as you swim with it. This set puts the focus onto your arms and the forces your arms to propel you forward. This is the final set prior to the cool down if you are doing Option A.

Tri Training NZ
Various Pull Buoys
Tri Coach NZ
Various Pull Buoys
Tri Coach NZ
Various Pull Buoys
Tri Training NZ
Various Pull Buoys

 

 

 

 

 

The fourth set is back to regular swimming with new tools / toys. This is also the final set prior to the cool down if you are doing Option B.

The fifth and final set prior to the cool down for Option C involves using the pull buoy only.

Complete your workout with a 200m Cool Down (Options A & B) or 400m (Option C). Feel free to pause and stretch when needed and/or include stretching as part of each break until the distance is covered.

The use of swim toys or tools such as the pull buoy or hand paddles can help develop specific strength and technique work by putting the focus on various areas of your stroke. It is important not to overdo this (especially with hand paddles) to avoid getting injured.

If you would like further advice feel free to contact me.

I am the Head Coach & Director of Qwik Kiwi – Endurance Sports Consultant.

I specialise in assisting first timers and recreational athletes to achieve their sporting goals. I can be contacted at coachray@coachray.nz and 021 348 729. Make sure you sign up to my informative newsletter.

Share this post so your friends can benefit as well.

I am also the author of the successful 12 Weeks to an Ironman Swim PB – Swim Faster with Smart Training eBook.

 

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