Sunday, February 8, 2015

February Swim Challenge Week 2

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 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. Four prizes will be awarded!
Last week we encouraged you to swim 3x/week and focus on some basic kicking and exhaling/inhaling skills. This week we up the ante with more swimming, a new drill, and a pacing set. Here are your challenges for Week 2 (Feb 9-15):

1.      Swim 3 times this week for at least 30 minutes each.  If you want to make quick progress with your swim technique or fitness, frequent swimming (no more than a 2 day lay-off between swim sessions) will be a great benefit!

2.      Try the6/1/6 drill”, ideally using the hip-driven kick you learned last week and a pair of mid-length flexible fins. Kick on your side with bottom arm outstretched, top arm on your hip and exhaling down toward the bottom of the pool. Take an arm stroke, switch to the other side, and then take a breath without moving your forward arm or your body. Kick on this new side until you need a breath, and then stroke & breathe again, etc.

Visit YouTube to see how to do this drill properly with or without fins:

Why do this drill? There are many ways you can use 6/1/6 to boost your freestyle technique:
(a) Perfect your alignment through your upper and lower core (square shoulders with shoulder blades tucked into opposite back pockets; abs engaged with belly button pulled in to spine and low back flat)
(b) Learn proper “catch” position of your forward arm – elbow slightly lower than shoulder, wrist slightly lower still, fingertips relaxed, palm facing downward
(c) Practice inhaling with a stable arm out front to support your breath instead of pushing down with your forward arm
(d) Add finger-tip drag drill to your strokes forward to practice keeping your recovering arm very relaxed, with all motion coming from the shoulder only.

3.    Swim 10 x 50y, 10-15 sec rest between intervals. All interval times should be within 3 sec of each other. Learn to pace yourself by starting the set off "easy", and building your effort as you go. Learn to recognize how much your perceived exertion changes even though your pace is staying nearly the same as you go through the set. If you are an advanced swimmer, substitute 10 x 100y on 10-15 sec rest instead, aiming for the best possible average speed you can. You should be tired when you finish, just like these guys:
(photo credit: Richard Lautens;
Remember to post your progress to your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram network and include the hashtag #GTDCSwimChallenge as often as you like!

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