Posts Tagged drills
Somehow in all the reading I had done about the swim portion of triathlon, and how triathletes should train for and approach the swim, I got the message that the kicking was very de-emphasized. That kicking was almost not necessary. Let your legs drag, if you wanted to. Use your upper body on the swim and save the legs for the bike and run. Makes sense, no?
And then I started my Masters Swim workouts. And the coach was having me do a fair amount of kicking. Although I thought I didn’t really need to be doing kicking drills, I tried to just suck it up and say nothing. After all, I was seeking the expertise of the coach. He knows more about this than I do, right? That’s why I was doing the Masters Swim. Eventually I did ask him about it and he said I needed to keep that end of my body up, or something like that. So…ok. Still doubtful but…just doing the drills like he said.
So I started a Masters Swim program at Mt. SAC back on June 17, 2010. Six weeks ago today. Although I seem to do fairly well at self-coaching myself on running, I have no swimming background and I’m not very good at it and I knew I needed someone with knowledge to watch me, coach me, give me tips. I did do some reading…Total Immersion swimming books, articles on Active.com, TriSwimCoach.com, BeginnerTriathlete.com. And reading was good, and did help, and I did try to use the advice. However, implementing what I read was just not going all that great without a coach.
Now one thing I did notice was that a lot of the reading material encouraged drills. The TriSwimCoach specifically encouraged doing as much drills as you could stand. And other sites also recommended drills for improving stroke technique and efficiency. It makes sense. In running I do speedwork on the track and I would say that is analagous to drills in the pool. I know that speedwork really does help me. I have to assume with all these articles recommending swim drills that that would help me, too.
But I really hate drills. Or at least, when I was trying to figure out swimming on my own, I really, really disliked them and almost never did them. I would maybe do a few laps of drills. Less than 1/4 of my workout for sure. Maybe much less than that. And then freestyle all the way, baby, because that seems to be the most fun to me.
Here’s an interesting article at Active.com that discusses some good cycling drills to help you learn better control on your bike. I really like some of these suggestions and am sure it would help me to practice them:
Bike Handling Clinic: Drill That Skill
So, as someone who is passably competent at swimming, I would still like to improve my swimming speed for triathlon events. Right now I’m just working up some basic yardage. Up to an easy 1500 in a workout right now. Will be dropping back these next few days as I approach my first triathlon on June 7th.
But after that is past, I will want to work up and improve my swimming and speed. I have seen recommended several times to do drills. Drills I’ve seen recommended for beginners are kick drills done on the side with no kickboard, shark fin drill, and also DPS (Distance Per Stroke).
So here is a nice site that has some explanations/suggestions for swim drills:Drills & Drill Tips | WSU Masters Swimming
They explain at the site above the side-kicking drill and the shark fin drill. The DPS is just the idea that you want to lower the number of strokes it takes you to get across the pool. By rotating your body in the pool from side to side while you stroke, having long strokes that pull, and you glide. Get fewer strokes to get across the pool.
So I guess after I finish up this tri coming up I will try to incorporate some drills into my swim training.