As the season draws to an end <congrats if you raced IM Florida> and we turn to ‘winter training,’ here are a few things to keep in mind to check or contemplate before fitness training kicks in fully. These are a few things I have noticed as swimmers are now returning to fitness training post OW season.
Head position – possibly a little too high now after a summer of sighting in openwater.
Lazy legs carried by a wetsuit all summer. We do not look to the legs for propulsion but for balance and traction. The better your kick the better the whole body contributes for less effort rather then it being a pulling event.
Stroke rate up a little high due to a lot of sea swimming? hard to focus on accurate tech if this is the case. Perfect it at slower speeds and then we can always speed it up when ready.
Breathing – Is this the season you finally crack bilateral breathing <useful for training & improved symmetry, not always necessary on race day but useful to have some options>
Is this the winter your pull buoy becomes a useful part of your fitness training and not your swim technique. Will your legs stop sinking you this time around?!
Wetsuit! Could you happily cope with a non wetsuit event next year if it happened and it did a few times this year?
Cold Water – Do you want to race earlier in cooler water? you can start preparing now, cooler showers, no wetsuit if you have an option of a lido? <mildly heated lido obviously ! we are at Hampton Pool and London Fields for these reasons>
Body MOT – Get your injuries checked. Can you improve your range of motion and flexibility to improve your swim tech and reduce incidence of injuries?
The reason we work so much on swim tech in training in the off season is so that Racing can become a lot of tactics and monitoring and not a technique lesson with yourself. Am I happy with this drafting position? this pace? do I need to change? can I change? perceived effort ok for this stage of swim? HR feel ok ? possibly too fast/working too hard but is that excitement or just lack of warmup. When racing I think of a car dashboard and keep checking all those ‘sensors’ to monitor temp/fuel/RPM etc! Not easy to think about tech in race mode so we work to improve it and not overly think it on race day. That is not to say you ignore it fully but it should be a short checklist to review every few minutes to keep things accurate. It should not be a constant battle with the good tech/bad tech demons perched on those rotating shoulders. Good luck if you do still have a few races to go, if we can help now with your swim tech please drop us a line – firstname.lastname@example.org