Monday was a holiday and a pretty slow day at Masters. The coach on deck noticed that there were 4 coaches in the water and decided to have each one of us teach the group a drill.
1st person: Catch up stroke (full catch up): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g7-xnvc3ap8&index=13&list=PLQNRt0Ix5GD5LRUCUGOFOkDBo1snRnquO
2nd person: Paddle on the head drill (I loathe this drill haha): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A04Tuxx814M
3rd person: Hold the paddle drill: Can't find a video, but hold the paddle in a way that connects your hand to your forearm - you're holding it in your hand, not putting your hand in the paddle like normal.
Me/4th person: 3/4 catch up: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-X14xInMODE&index=9&list=PLQNRt0Ix5GD5LRUCUGOFOkDBo1snRnquO
Let's focus on that 4th drill, since it is one of my favorites but also really hard to get the timing of it.
3/4 Catch up explained:
- Breath every stroke
- Start with both hands out in front when you push off the wall
- Pull with your right hand while taking a breath
- Leaving your lead hand out in front (lets say Left Hand) you'll start the recovery part of the stroke with your Right Hand.
- Pause your Right Hand where it's even with your head, aka freeze
- Put your face back in the water (your Left Hand is still out in front)
- Hold your arms still and count to two(2).
-- Your Right Hand should be about where your head is, elbow high and hand down.
-- Your Left Hand is still out in front, hasn't moved at all yet.
- Now you initiate "The Switch"
-- "The Switch": When the hand out of the water begins to move, so does the hand in the water... aka both hands/arms start moving at the same time.
- Now repeat the other way, right hand stays out in front while the left hand pauses during the recovery phase, put your face in the water, then switch the arms.
- The Key is seeing your hand stop around your head, then placing your face back in the water so you can see the other hand start to pull when the switch happens.
This drill helps with:
- Keeping the lead hand out in front until your face is back in the water so it's main focus is pulling you forward. Loads of people drop that lead hand while breathing and it functions to keep them balanced but doesn't help with forward momentum.
- Keep a high elbow recovery and hand placement when entering the water
- Faster turnover aka higher stroke rate. This is highly effective for open water swimming and triathletes. Most pool swimmers don't like this since they focus on glide and cutting through the water, which becomes far less effective when in open water and with chaos going on around you.
Workout of the day:
300 w/fins - 50 kick/50 swim
300 w/fins - 50 drill/50 swim
- Drill: 3/4 catch up - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-X14xInMODE&index=9&list=PLQNRt0Ix5GD5LRUCUGOFOkDBo1snRnquO
(900 warm up)
400 pull - 60% on 30" rest
- Focus: Leaving the lead hand out in front so you can see it pull through
8x50 on 15" rest
- Increase stroke count by 2 or more with each group of 50's - 2-2-2-2.
- If you start at 40 strokes for a 50 then you should be ending at 48 strokes per 50.
400 swim on 30" rest
- Focus: Faster turnover - something similar to 50's #4-5 or so.
8x50 on 15" rest
- Odds: Relax the mind and don't think - you've been doing enough of that already
- Evens: Focus on "The Switch"
(1600 main set/2500 total)
200 easy - trying to connect the dots from what you learned today to your "new normal" stroke. Bad habits build on themselves and in order to beat those, you need to stay focused and catch yourself when you're getting lazy in the pool and lock back into a better swim form.