Sunday, February 1, 2015

GTDC February swim challenge kicks off today!

Get an early jump on your swimming form and fitness this triathlon season, and have a shot at winning a swimming-related prize from GTDC! Each week in February we will challenge you to swim a little more than the week before, try a new drill and complete an endurance challenge during one or more of your workouts.

Each time you share your success on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #GTDCSwimChallenge you’ll be entered to win your choice of a pair of Agility Paddles, a Tempo Trainer Pro, 50% off a swim video analysis session or $50 in nutrition. Up to four prizes will be awarded!

Here are your challenges for Week 1 (Feb 2-8):

1.      Swim 3 times this week for at least 20 minutes each. If you are just getting started, it's ok to stick to 20 minutes. If you've been swimming 2 x 1hr already, then add an additional 20 minute session, but don't shorten what you've already been doing! Ideally you will not have more than a 2 day lay-off between swim sessions (especially if your technique needs a lot of work), so make sure to space your sessions out throughout the week!

2.      Try theballet leg kick drill”. This drill helps you learn to kick from your hips rather than your knees as you swim freestyle, which both reduces drag and the amount of energy burned by your large leg muscles as you swim. That adds up to more speed and energy!
      To learn how to do the ballet leg kick drill, watch this short video from Paul Newsome of Swim Smooth (the best portion is from 0:50 to 1:45):

Now go kick with your hips as you swim freestyle. Remember, the point of a drill is not just to do the drill well, but to improve your swimming with what it teaches you.

3.     Swim thinking “bubble-bubble-breathe” to yourself (one word per hand entry) for 4 lengths of the pool without stopping. This drill encourages you to exhale continuously (“bubble”) while your face is in the water instead of holding your breath and then exhaling all at once just before you turn your head to inhale. It also forces you to breathe bilaterally (“breathe” comes every third arm stroke), which may be uncomfortable now, but is a valuable skill for every open water swimmer.
I hope these challenges help you on your journey to better swimming this season! If you have questions or comments about these items or the swimming challenge, you can post them here or email them to me at info at
Don't forget to share your success with your friends and use our hashtag #GTDCSwimChallenge when you do to increase your chance of winning!

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