COVID-19: How to Swim Train When The Pools Are Closed - Coach Ray

Coach Ray

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COVID-19: How to Swim Train When The Pools Are Closed

Currently here in New Zealand I’m reasonably isolated from the effects of COVID-19 with only 20 reported cases and my local pool is still open and operating. Unfortunately that isn’t the case for athletes all around the world I’m arranging Skype calls with my Northern Hemisphere triathletes and swimmers who I coach to put into place alternative plans for them. Here are my suggestions and recommendations for continuing to work on your swim fitness whilst your local pool is closed.

There are a number of ways you can continue to develop your swim fitness both in the water and out of the water, depending on the location you live. If you have the luxury of living somewhere that is still relatively warm with access to safe open water swimming, then that is always an option but this article is more for people lacking open water swimming options.

Dryland Training

Dryland training can take a couple of options from doing regular strength training in the gym, to doing body weight workouts in your home or somewhere convenient that doesn’t require any equipment, to using Stretch Cords to replicate your swimming action more specifically than lifting weights.

Stretch Cords

This is the most specific way of swim conditioning on dryland and involves using stretch cords to mimic the action of swimming.

You simply attach the stretch cord to a secure object, take a few steps back to add tension to the cord. Lean forward and then pull through the cords to develop the muscles involved with swimming. Stand closer for less tension, step back to add more tension.

Check out my COVID-19 Training Plans which includes my dryland swim conditioning programmes that you can use to substitute and replace your swim training whilst the pools are closed. This is only $97 per month, and as a bonus you get access to ALL my training plans to use when the pools reopen. Click here for more information.

Weight Training

In the absence of a swimming pool, you may have access to small gymnasium/weights room (although a lot of these are also closed, especially the bigger more commercial gyms). Utilising weight training can also strengthen and condition muscles involved in swimming, building your fitness prior to getting back into the pool.

I periodise my weight training programmes through four phases:

  • Anatomical Adaptation
  • Max Strength
  • Muscular Transition
  • Strength Maintenance

Each phase has an important part to play in developing your overall strength and conditioning. The Anatomical Adaptation phase prepares your body for the phases of training that follow. This phase uses lighter weights with more reps, than the Max Strength Phase which only uses a few reps at a heavier. The next phase takes your new found strength you have built and converts it into muscular endurance by decreasing the weight lifted slightly lighter weight but more often. Once you’ve worked through these three phases the final phase works on maintaining your new strength, as you taper your training off for the targeted event.

Check out my COVID-19 Training Plans which includes my weight training programmes that you can use to substitute and replace your swim training whilst the pools are closed. This is only $97 per month, and as a bonus you get access to ALL my training plans to use when the pools reopen. Click here for more information.

Body Weight Circuit Training

If your local gym is also closed or you aren’t comfortable in the gym environment doing a body weight circuit at home, in your local park (keeping your social distance from other people of course). This could even be done in an isolation ward of a hospital if required.

I’ve developed a series of body weight circuit sessions where you conduct a series of exercises for a period of time before moving on to the next exercise until you’ve worked through them all. Take a short break and then repeat again.

Here is an example of one of my many workouts. You can easily search for more of them on YouTube. They are designed to all work together in sequence over many weeks to give you maximum gains.

Check out my COVID-19 Training Plans which includes my body weight conditioning programmes that you can use to substitute and replace your swim training whilst the pools are closed. This is only $97 per month, and as a bonus you get access to ALL my training plans to use when the pools reopen. Click here for more information.

Further options

TYR Aquatic Resistance Belt

The TYR Aquatic Resistance Belt is a great tool swim in place in any pool. It is simply a waist belt and a bungee cord that you attach to something solid at the side of the pool to prevent you swimming away. This is a great tool to allow you to train in any pool regardless of how small it might be.

Vasa Swim Bench

The Vasa Trainer is a great tool to work on your swimming. Sort of like a treadmill for running or a wind trainer. Unfortunately as a result of COVID-19 Amazon is out of stock and Vasa state on their website they have been swamped (excuse the pun) and are struggling with supply.

Check out my COVID-19 Training Plans which includes my dryland swim conditioning programmes that you can use to substitute and replace your swim training whilst the pools are closed. This is only $97 per month, and as a bonus you get access to ALL my training plans to use when the pools reopen. Click here for more information.

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Ray has competed in triathlons from sprint to ironman distance (both IM Taupo and Challenge Wanaka). Consequently he is aware of the importance of balancing training with lifestyle, thus complimenting other important aspects of an athlete’s life (family, work, study commitments etc…). • Entering your first triathlon? • Stepping up to a longer distance? • Looking to go faster? • Wanting to turn previous negatives into positives? Ray has coached athletes to achieve these and more. Training programmes are accessible online, so athletes can be located anywhere and still reap the benefits of Ray’s coaching. Contact him to discuss how he can assist you to achieve your goals.
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