adventures of a mere mortal in fitness and life

Monday I was back in the pool after the weekend. Today got time crunched (as usual, this will become the story of my training), and thus possibly a little shorter than I wanted.

Today was drills and skills, and some intervals at the end. If you don’t do drills, start. Swimming drills are great because you are still logging yardage while getting some actual skill improvement in. If you avoid drills because they’re hard, don’t. If you skip drills because all the ones you know are easy, try some harder ones (like the one below).

Skills development is meant specifically for open water. With open water, you have to consider the environment- where the sun is in relation to you, the direction the waves are headed, sighting, and size of waves. You can still practice skill development in the pool!  So Monday’s workout consisted of A LOT of drills and skills. I occasionally like to do a big set of these, and today was one of those days. I won’t explain every drill now, but will add a video or two every post to explain what I mean.

Monday’s workout:

  • 500 warm- up, every 10th lap backstroke
  • 4×100 drill/swim, Single Arm Freestyle, hand at side 25 R/ 25L, 50 Hypoxic breathing 5-7
  • 4×100 drill/swim, 1Arm Extended Freestyle kick on side 25R/25L, 50 breathing only one side 25R/25L
  • 4×100 drill/swim, 50 sculling drill, 50 heads up swimming half length, heads down other half
  • 4×100 drill/swim 50 high elbow drill/50 backstroke or breastroke
  • 6×100 swim freestyle, hard, consistent times, 30 seconds RI
  • slow backstroke-you should be pretty gassed after the last set

So the most important drill you can do in my opinion is Single Arm Freestyle, first with the non-swimming arm extended in front of you, and progress to the arm at your side. When I first did the arm at your side as an adult, I felt completely inept. But that one drill is the best thing I have done to exaggerate and focus on the rotation of the hips as you swim. Good swimmers swim on their sides, not on their stomachs. This pattern is the aquatic gait, similar to running. If you don’t think the gait is significant in swimming, try swimming double arm freestyle for a length. If you like it, then dry off, get dressed, and try running with your hands at your sides. Let me know what you think. 😉

Check it out- as he mentions, the first single arm drill serves a different purpose than the second:

I will post up more drills and videos in the coming workouts as necessary, but hit me up with questions!  🙂


Comments on: "Mighty Mac Training Monday 3.9.15" (4)

  1. You have inspired me right back! Thanks for posting these training details! I’ve never been one for TI drills. I’ve always felt like they take away from my precious training time (given the choice between swimming sets or doing drills, sets all the way!). I borrowed a concept I leaned from a martial artist in sparing training and applied it to swimming so that maybe made up for my drill aversion a little. The basic idea was to go into whatever activity it is with a specific goal in mind, but not just to win, be faster etc… Rotate more, focus on kick or pull technique, head position, whatever…

    Your post is making me rethink that however. It might not be a bad idea for me to dedicate one training day a week or every two weeks to something like kicking drills. It could also aid in recovery after longish swims. Hmmmm…. Great stuff Susan! Keep posting!

  2. Can you recommend a good video for sculling? I see a few different variations when I search YouTube and I’m not sure what would be best. I have never really done drills before and I know I should start!

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