As part of our ‘Train with Chrissie’ series, the four-time Kona champion shares three of her favourite pool-based technique drills to transfer to open water.
Practise swimming straight
Swim with your eyes closed for 9-10 strokes. This will help you learn to swim straight without looking at the black line on the bottom of the pool (practise this when the lane is clear!). A glance at the lane ropes will tell you which side you veer towards.
If you have a swim coach, work with them to correct stroke asymmetry that might be causing the swerve – often crossing over the centre line at the front of the stroke, or under the body.
Over time you should be able to increase the amount of strokes you can perform with your eyes closed and still swim in a straight line. This exercise will also train and strengthen the muscles you use to sight.
Swim normally, but practise looking up twice every length to see the pace clock or your coach using the ‘sighting’ technique outlined above.
Water polo drill
Swim 15-25m of the pool with your head up. Don’t turn your head to the side to breathe. This is a great way to build strength in your neck and make sure you’re aware of how your lower body sinks when your head is raised.
For lots more performance advice head to our Training section