How much can you improve your swim in a long weekend? 220’s Helen Webster headed to Alicante to train with Martin Hill of Triathlon Training Spain…
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After lunch back at the Bonalba, the two afternoons were spent back in the 25m indoor pool working on technique and drills. We start each session looking at breathing – making sure we understand how to effectively expel air and relax under water – by doing a series of sinkdowns.
Drills are the focus of the afternoon sessions, with Helen working on body position.
Next, it’s on to a series of drills and lengths incorporating some of the tips Martin’s given us during our analysis. For me, this means visual cues to think about when breathing to stop me over-rotating my head (starting with Martin walking alongside me holding a water bottle at the right height for me to look at). I also do some drills using a pull buoy, focusing on body rotation and pushing each hand back past the hip, plenty of lengths of doggy paddle to encourage a high elbow, and using finger paddles to improve ‘feel’ for the water.
Finally on the Sunday, we do some work with a tempo trainer. When I arrived, my stroke rate was 58 strokes per minute (SPM), but with two days of focus on rhythm and timing, this has increased to 66 SPM. Not a huge change, but I certainly feel like my stroke has more emphasis.
As well as the sea and pool sessions, we have time late afternoon for seminars to discuss technique including open water and how to put a session together. There’s also a swim-specific sports massage included, which as well as being a treat after all the hard work, identified some areas of tightness in my back that may be restricting my stroke.
The camp ends on Monday with a final pool session helping put it all together, before heading to the airport for an afternoon flight home. It’s an intense few days that are packed with training, advice and information – but at £445 including all your food, accommodation, airport transfers and Martin’s undivided attention throughout, it definitely offers excellent value for money.
Triathlon Training Spain have a variety of swim and triathlon training camps available in 2016, with week-long triathlon camps priced at £750 fully catered / coached as for this swim camp. Find available dates here.
Training camps can also be tailored; to find out more or to specify your requirements email Martin on: firstname.lastname@example.org
Finally... If you're thinking about going on a training camp, don't miss 220 columnist Martyn Brunt's (tongue in cheek) tips on etiquette here...