1st November 2018 at 12:13 am #13955
Off-season is well and truly upon us. With the cold weather outside, the well-lit swimming pools are perfect for training.
FOCUS ON TECHNIQUE, FORM AND BUILDING A BASE
Off-season is the ideal time for spending some quality time in the pool focusing on your form and technique in the water, and also to building the biggest swim base possible so that when something has to give during racing season, you have something to fall back on. If you have any deficits in your swimming technique, now is the time to address them in the controlled environment of the swimming pool. Once you can master your technique and have a solid base, it will not take much work to transfer it to the open water come race season.
The best way to improve your technique and build the biggest swim base possible is by spending MORE time at the pool. If you typically swim two times per week during race season, bump that up to three times per week during the winter (if you can).
We have set up the below challenge sheet so people can log their sets. The rough rule of thumb is 20km for improvers, 30km for intermediates and 35km and over for advanced. Remember, it’s not necessarily about the quantity but increasing the number of quality swim sessions (NB: this is specific to each athlete). The aim is to encourage more people to attend sessions and improve their swimming technique, form and base.
OFF-SEASON SWIMMING – KEY TAKE-AWAYS
Some common points that repeatedly come up in literature on off-season swim training:
1. Swim, swim and swim more: escape the cold temperatures outside and stay warm in the pool. Frequency of swimming is the best way to improve your “feel” for the water.
2. Swim smarter: focus on improving your technique and breaking old habits.
3. Swim slow: if you want to improve your technique, it is recommended that you swim easy, relaxed and slowly through the water (this is not to say that a bit of variety and speed work is good to mix it up, where instructed by the coach).
4. Emphasis on quality sessions
5. Strength and condition: now is the time to work on building your strength and core outside of swimming. Try to do some strength & condition, yoga or even Pilates (NB: this is specific to each athlete). Gaining strength in your core and improving your flexibility are vital to triathlon racing.
Aside from the above, a few points to keep in the back of your mind that will continue to improve the quality of the sessions:
1. Punctuality: Warm-up on time or miss out. Please aim to be in the water 5 mins before each swim session to warm up.
2. Be courteous: Let each person finish their length by moving to one side of the lane (we appreciate this isn’t always possible when lanes are full).
3. Count to 5: Leave 5 seconds between each swimmer when pushing off the wall into a swim round.
4. Listen to the instructions given out by the coach or assistant coach on deck. If you can’t hear, move closer to the wall instead of asking people around you straight away, that way no one hears anything.
5. Take the prescribed recovery. Sets are designed by our coaches to achieve a specific aim for that session. If swimmers at the front of the lane start taking less recovery it puts 90% of that lane under pressure.
Catch you in the pool.
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