It was a dreary morning and I didn’t feel like running in the rain so I hit the pool for a swim instead. I normally show up with a workout in a ziplock baggie from one of the swims I ran during the week, but, not today. I also forgot my tempo trainer. I stood at the end for a few minutes debating what type of swim I should do. Speed? Endurance? Technique? Open water stuff? There was a workout left on the board from an earlier conditioning /masters type swim which served as inspiration. I picked out a few things from the written session and adapted to suit my needs.
Workouts should be purposeful and swims, especially, should be mindful. Getting in and doing the same thing over and over again without much thought won’t lead to improvement. I thought about my upcoming races which include the Canadian Masters Swim Championships and IM 70.3 CDA and decided to focus on things relevant to both of those events.
Here is what I did:
Warm-up: 200 choice swim, 200 pull, 200 kick (with fins)
I’m swimming backstroke at the Masters meet so thought I would tune that up first
3 x 150 Backstroke: 50 swim, 50 drill, 50 swim. Drill was 3 strokes right arm, 3 strokes left arm and 6 full strokes.
This was only 450m of backstroke but as a triathlete most of my training is freestyle so this was a lot more backstroke than I am used to! But it felt good.
Then I did some 400s broken out as 100m IM (25 fly, 25 back, 25 breast, 25 free), 200m pull, 100m swim with a high stroke rate. This IM / pull combo was written on the board and it seemed like a great idea so I gave it a try.
These were kinda fun! I like variety in my workouts so these 400s kept me engaged. Starting each 400 with a 100m IM seemed like a great idea ahead of the upcoming Masters meet. Then I went right into a 200m pull with my agility paddles and then finished off with 100 free, no equipment, and really tried to pick up my stroke rate. The paddles were great helping me really feel my catch and pull through and when I took them off, feeling way less resistance in the water, it was easy for me to bring up my stroke rate. I try to devote some time during every single swim to practice a higher stroke rate because mine is quite low (high 50s) and having a punchier stroke in open water is beneficial when fighting chop. It’s a great idea to practice open water swim skills year round.
Lastly, I did some sculling to work on my catch and pull through and finished with a little speed.
4 x 50: (with pull buoy) 25 “scull combo” (some sculling out front, then in the middle and then some long arm dog paddle) and then swam back at high intensity really focusing on my stroke.
Cooled down with some double arm back, hit the hot tub and called it a good day.
When you go to the pool – be sure to make your laps count by having a plan and being mindful during your swim session. And, if you know other strokes, add some in to work other muscles!
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