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"Mandatory" swim drills?
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Are there any “mandatory” drills for triathlon swimming? I’m 43, MOP, started swimming a few years ago. I’ve read a lot and it seems each expert has their own favorite drill(s). I don’t have easy access to a master’s program or coaching, but a few former college swimmers have indicated my technique/stroke is okay.

I usually do 2 x 50 each of catch-up, high elbow/zipper, fist, no breathing (25 SCY with no breathing), and kick at the start of each workout. I’d appreciate any ideas on good drills and what frequency, thanks.
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Re: "Mandatory" swim drills? [Bill Young] [ In reply to ]
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fingertip drag receovery is good for practicing high elbow. catchup can be useful if you don't have enough of a glide during your stroke. breathing drills are useless IMO. all they do is make you suffer and do not really add to your conditioning. kick drills are fairly useless as well. if you're swimming with a good body position, you don't need to use your legs all that much, and can preserve those muscles for the bike and the run. hard to say what consitutes a mandatory drill for you without knowing what's needed in your stroke to fix. drills should be used to help correct any deficiencies in stroke mechanics. if your stroke is fundamentally sound, you'd be better off utilizing the time solely for regular swim workouts. sorry if this doesn't help all that much, but i thought you should at least look at the issue from the right direction, being that you should work on your own unique needs, not on what others are doing.
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Re: "Mandatory" swim drills? [Bill Young] [ In reply to ]
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I generally agree with rsum17. However, somebody telling you that your stroke is "o.k." does not help you much.

If you have a feel for the water, you will know which part of your stroke needs work. If you don't have access to a masters program or don't want to invest some time and money for a clinic you could always ask a friend to film you swimming and figure it out on your own.

If you don't have a major hitch in your stroke, I for my part try to focus on a specific phase of my arm stroke in a drill session (recovery, front quadrant, etc.) . I normally try to do a short drill set before and after the main set. I further try to include a pull-buoy session with/and arm drills in most workouts during race season. This helps me to simulate and improve open water swimming-efficiency. Kicking for warm-up is o.k., but only if I don't ride/run to the pool.

Your preferences may vary.



adrialin

(BOMK, racing drug and supplement free since 1985)
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Re: "Mandatory" swim drills? [Bill Young] [ In reply to ]
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2 other drills that I would recommend are Tempo and DPS. Tempo is where you simply work on acheiving the highest stroke rate that you can. It is akin to doing high RPM spin drills on your bike. Don't worry about holding any water, just get your arms going as fast as you can. This drill has 2 benefits: 1. it helps you learn to vary your stroke rate, I have seem a lot of triathletes that have only 1 speed, this will help you to learn how to change your pace. 2. it helps to teach you to spend less time breathing, and can help to integrate your breath into a smoother stroke.



Ed


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LLLEEEEEEEEEEEERRRROOOYYY JEEENNNNNKKKIIINNNNNS!!!
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Re: "Mandatory" swim drills? [edwinj] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks to everyone so far for the feedback.

Ed--I do have a slow turnover (TI glide :-) usually 16-18 SPL at distance race pace (1:50/100), so I'm sure tempo will help. What is DPS?
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Re: "Mandatory" swim drills? [Bill Young] [ In reply to ]
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Sorry, I fogot to explain that one. DPS = Distance per Stroke. For this drill you overexagerrate the pull and try to take as few strokes as possible to get you across the pool. It is diametrically opposite to the tempo drill.



Ed


_________________________________________________

LLLEEEEEEEEEEEERRRROOOYYY JEEENNNNNKKKIIINNNNNS!!!
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Re: "Mandatory" swim drills? [Bill Young] [ In reply to ]
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Re: "Mandatory" swim drills? [Bill Young] [ In reply to ]
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1. Side kicking,

2. Catch up

3. Single arm stroking with opposite arm at side.



These are pretty nice

=====================================
S�rgio Marques
When it hurts is when it feels good ;-)
Sergio-Marques.com
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Re: "Mandatory" swim drills? [Bill Young] [ In reply to ]
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Check Lance Watson's articles on trainright.com

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"Yeah, no one likes a smartass, but we all like stars" - Thom Yorke


smartasscoach.tri-oeiras.com
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Re: "Mandatory" swim drills? [smartasscoach] [ In reply to ]
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How about some special sa drills? Or are those 'top secret';)
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Re: "Mandatory" swim drills? [freestyle] [ In reply to ]
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No magic drills freestyle... every drill serves a purpose... the only magic is hard work.

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"Yeah, no one likes a smartass, but we all like stars" - Thom Yorke


smartasscoach.tri-oeiras.com
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Re: "Mandatory" swim drills? [Bill Young] [ In reply to ]
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Just my opinion, but if you are taking 16-18 strokes per 25yd short course (I assume), but only going 1:50/100yds, you are gliding way, way too long, and losing speed. I do about 20 strokes/25yds, and hold 1:15/100yd.

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Re: "Mandatory" swim drills? [klehner] [ In reply to ]
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Fist drills (swimming laps with my hands clenched in a fist) have made a huge difference for me. They have helped me improve both my balance and catch/pull. I went from being a terrible swimmer to a MOP one primarily with that drill (and a lot of laps). TI sells fist gloves for $8 that make it easier to hold a fist. The site also describes the benefit of the drill.
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Re: "Mandatory" swim drills? [shredder] [ In reply to ]
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A cheap alternative to fist gloves: if you wear a somewhat loose-fitting watch, you will feel the water catch the band if you drop your elbow during the pull (the water will be going parallel to your forearm instead of perpendicular to it).

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"i disagree with your analysis [or judgment], nevertheless you have the responsibility of moderating this board so i honor your authority to make the moderating decisions."
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Re: "Mandatory" swim drills? [klehner] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks, you are probably right, but I'm innudated with competing theories and drills, hence this thread.
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Re: "Mandatory" swim drills? [Bill Young] [ In reply to ]
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I have to throw 2c on the subject. Kicking is important. While you want to save your legs for bike & run you will kick some during the swim. Better to have good form and strength which will ultimately leave you feeling stronger for the rest of the race. I usually try to kick 10 - 15 % of total workout yardage. Extra bonus is kicking (especially on your side)helps to loosen up hip flexors that get tight from running.

Jim

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