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Swimming drills-how many and for how long??

Depends very much on your ability, Lady P.

As a general rule when training, never swim continuously beyond the point when your technique falls apart. This may mean that you do lots of 2 or 4 length swims with a very short break (say 10 or 20 seconds) but this is better than doing 50 lengths of junk. Try to put in some distances now and again, not to teach you how to swim badly, but to teach you how to slow down from your 4 length pace to say 8 or 10 lengths at a time.

To get a bit more specific... tell us about your current swimming ability. What standard are you? How far can you swim? What times do you have for say 400m, 750m, 1500m etc? How often do you train?


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    I'm looking to improve my swim technique-how many drills do most people do a week and how long is each session?

    Is it best to have one session on drills only and another session on swim fitness or should I just focus on drills for the moment and forget about putting in a longer distance session?

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    Jack HughesJack Hughes Posts: 1,262
    Yeah, it all depends on where you are now, where you want to get to, and how quickly you want to get there!

    So far I have done: Drills on Sunday (1hr). Lesson + Drills on Monday (1hr). Drills on Tuesday(1.5hrs). Nothing today (Gym instead), and will be away on Thurs/Fri s nothing then. But I am currently trying to learn crawl, and want to be able to get to the point where I can do at least a sprint by the summer/autumn. And I am too injured (still) to run or cycle. As I've only just managed to do 1 length of Front Crawl, everything I do is all about technique!

    My strategy is:

    1) Get good enough to go to my Tri Clubs novice sessions

    2) Then get good enough to book my self on a TI workshop (you need to be able to do at least a couple of lengths of FC for that)

    3) Complete the swim leg of a tri (pool based)

    4) Get a lot better

    5) Try open water swimming

    6) Try an stand alone swimming event (there is one I fancy in the lake district, a longish charity thing - but that might be too ambitious for this year!

    At the moment I do not care about speed - just about technique - even when I have improved I will still not care about speed, just technique and efficiency. My objective will be simply to complete the course using as little energy as possible (within reason! Obviously I expect speed to come as the technique develops)

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    MGMG Posts: 470
    I've started to increase the distance of my intervals, 12x200m (10 sec rest) or 10x400m (20sec rest) and have had a noticible improvement in 1500 and 3800m swim times. As Bopo states, as soon as your technique begins to fall apart you need to implement some more rest or knuckle down and concentrate on your technique.

    Technique is king when swimming so get this right with drills before you start beasting yourself.

    I recommend PT Paddles, these are a hydrodynamic paddle which gives you the same effect as closed fist swimming, what these do essentially is drill you to keep you elbow high (imperetive) and to pull the stroke ALL the way past the hip. Honestly I'm not one for gimmics but these really do work and have given me some extra drive through my stroke.

    check em out here........


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    MrSquishyMrSquishy Posts: 277
    I'm very much in to drills now as I've had my technique properly analysed and know what my development areas are, I've already adopted the interval-based session approach swimming 100 or 200m sets, but with regards to the drills I'm doing do I do the same drill for the whole session (interspresing it with sets of crawl) or do I practice all my different drills in 1 session? Currently I have 3 drills to work on, plus 2 that I was doing OK already.
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    BopomofoBopomofo Posts: 980
    Those 'anti-paddles' are quite interesting, MG. I'm quite into fist swimming myself as a drill, so maybe I'll give them a go as I do sometimes find myself cheating a bit and opening my hands out...[&:] Some fist gloves would probably work just as well, though.

    10 x 400m is probably my least favourite session, simply because of the pain involved. Last time I did it I was aiming at 6:00 per 400m and I reckon the last 2 x 400 were junk sets. If I back off the pace I'm OK though: eg I find a straight 3.8km no problem at about 70min pace (about 7:20 per 400m). 1500m is generally 22:30 ish for me, which is dead on 6:00 per 400m so I can hold it for that distance. I think at that pace it all starts to go wrong for me around 2.5k. Mustn't grumble!

    Anyway... we're still waiting for Lady P to give us some more of an idea about swimming experience and ability.

    *EDIT* Sorry, missed out MrSquishy's question. Yeah, mix it up as much as you like at this stage. When you get more drills to practice then you might start to specialise your sessions a bit, into maybe a rotation set, a reach set etc. My standard session includes single arm swimming, catch-up, fists and 8-8. I'll also do a 'toys' set which one session will be hand paddles and the next will be fins. My main drills sessions are a total of 3300m where the longest distance I do in any one go is 200m, mainly it is 100m and even 50m.
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    Thanks for all your responses. Ok, swim ability- 500m 9:45. 1,500m 30 mins. I have the fitness to get through the swim but after having my technique analyised at TriCentral a couple of weeks ago, I now know that my technique is poor.

    I have been told that I kick from the knee and should be kicking from the thigh-what kicking drills do people do eg. with float/without float how many lengths etc??

    Also, I twist my hips when they should be flat and the only twist should be from the shoulders/abs-how should I sort that out?

    I'm not getting the full amount of 'pull' available with my arm stroke. I used a pair of Finis fulcrum forearm supports and these seemed to sort my arms out a treat-has anyone else used these? How many lengths should I be doing with these??

    I'm looking to step up to an olympic distance tri in September so I really want to improve my swim-any ideas greatly appreciated!! [:)]
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    JulesJules Posts: 987
    Hmm. I've been told I'm not twisting from the hips enough.
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    JulesJules Posts: 987
    Just to slightly vary Lady P's OP, I'm currently doing a swim technique class with the tri club at the weekend - basically coached drills - plus two lunchtimnes a week, practising those drills.

    I've been doing this since the start of the year and my swim times have come down - not that I check them very often.

    I'm now thinking that as the season is approaching I should be doing a bit more with my full stroke, just intervals, not massive distances.

    Am I better off doing one lunchtime session doing the full stroke the whole session (half an hour) and one session all drills? Or am I better off alternating within both sessions drills/fullstroke/drills/fullstroke etc?
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