Here’s a 60min beginner’s swim session from Olympic medallist Cassie Patten, incorporating a selection of pool tools to improve your technique.
On a rough schedule of three swims, three bikes and three runs a week, this is good to fit in on an easy day or before a hard run/cycle. You want to be fresh enough that your technique won’t suffer.
For this session you’ll need: swimwear, goggles, swim cap, pullbuoy, kickboard, forward snorkel, and paddles (optional).
150m easy swim.
8 x 50m with pullbuoy, building effort each rep, 20secs rest between. 100m recovery. 4 x 75m with kickboard, as 25m building effort/25m hard/25m recovery. 250m focused on technique, using forward snorkel with paddles and/or pullbuoy as required.
100m easy swim.
This focuses on isolating different areas of the stroke. The pullbuoy allows you to concentrate on everything above the waist, the kickboard, everything below, and the forward snorkel and paddles give clear vision and cues as you attempt to improve the ‘catch’.
Developing the correct feel for the water is the key to improving your swim. Lots of repetition using each tool helps to build confidence that you’re ingraining the correct technique.
The shoulder muscles will strengthen as you develop your catch, along with triceps and biceps as stroke turnover quickens and the forearm works as a paddle. The upper and lower back muscles help stabilise the stroke and the core, keeping you horizontal in the water, while the glutes and hamstrings are used in the kicking set.
Adapt for Ironman
You can increase the distances, but regularity is more beneficial than over-extending yourself, so consider fitting in this technique work alongside your regular speed/endurance efforts.
(Image: Jonny Gawler)
For lots more swim workouts head to our Training section