Winter pool training


Social media, TV adverts, magazine articles are bursting with get fit, lose weight, get moving!!! Nearing the end of January and you maybe are feeling overwhelmed and still not sure where to start to improve your swim fitness. Trying to get back into the normal routine seems hard work. Here are some ideas of how you can maybe start getting back into the pool.


You need to remember that it takes a while to perfect the front crawl stroke. Think about your own children and how long it’s taken for them to learn how to swim.

Use the winter months to get fit and open water ready.


Your swimming will improve with frequency. Swim 5x 30-minute sessions instead of 1 x 90-minute session. There is nothing better than feeling fit and strong when you hit the lakes which open at the end of April.


1. 50 - 50’s. It’s a great way to tackle for 2.5 K swim. Break it down as 10 sets of five repetitions with 5, 10 second rest after each 50m depending on your fitness levels. Manage the pace so every 50m is swam at exactly the same time.


2. The tempo trainer, on mode two, set on 1 minute. You have to swim for 1 minute and complete the same distance on every minute, rest for a minute. Do the same using a pull buoy and then short blade fins.




3. We are all not keen about kicking and yes, it’s hard and horrible but it really does pay dividends by doing some lengths kicking. Try kicking on your back with your arms extended above your head and really stretch. With your face out of the water, you can really give it a good full blast. Otherwise the old fashioned way on your front with a kick board.

· 6 x 150m – 50m kick, 50m swim, 50m kick with a 20 seconds rest.



4. Set your watch and see how many lengths you can swim in 20 minutes. Retest yourself in a month to see if there are any improvements.


5. Not all pools allow the use of hand paddles, but integrating them into your swim workout will build up muscle strength. Please do it gradually to stop yourself getting injured.




6. Mixing your strokes is a brilliant way to build up your technique and fitness. Doing a bit of fly kick, even if it’s only off the wall in your breakout it’s brilliant for building your strength.

· 25m Fly + 25m Front crawl with a 15 second rest


7. Deepwater turns are fantastic at helping you prepare for the open water. Remember the lakes don’t have a wall you can push off from! You turn at the T, no touching the wall, sides or floor. It’s quite hard work as you have to get back up into a horizontal position to do your front crawl. Also, if you can tumble turn try tumbling at the T. No touching the wall.


8. 25m hard, 25m easy, 50m hard, 50m easy, 75m hard, 75m easy, 100m hard, 100m easy. Repeat.


9. The breathing challenges.

· Breathe to the left side

· Breathe to the right side

· Breathe bilaterally to both sides

· Breathe after every 3, 5, 7, 9 arm strokes

· Breathe 2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9 arm strokes and repeat 9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2

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