October 2009 Swim Chat with Coach Kevin Koskella

author : Tri Swim Coach
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[pwrbunt]  I train in a 25m pool and wondering what a good stroke count should be per 25?

[Tri Swim Coach]  Well that depends Guido, stroke counts are unique for everyone. A good idea is to figure out what your range is, and try to keep lowering it little by little. Work on focusing on something different for each 100 you swim when you are counting strokes.  For example, focus on hip rotation, then glide, then just head position, then pull.   Don’t worry about kicking when you’re counting strokes.

[pwrbunt]  I average 2 min per 100 and I am trying to get faster but I don’t seem to making any ground, my body rotation is slow and if I go too much faster, I end up out of breath.

[Tri Swim Coach]  Try not to worry too much about speed at this point.  Get your stroke technique in order and then start your speed work.

[pwrbunt]  Ok, what about fingers spread or closed during pull?

[Tri Swim Coach]  Closed

[TheDave]  I'm feeling like it takes me forever to just get 400m in. I know it will be better in time.  I just hate swimming in a 25m pool, I get lazy and rest just a little every 25m unless I push myself.

[Tri Swim Coach]   Dave, start with basic drills. I recommend 3 drills to work on every time you swim for a few weeks: vertical kicking , side kicking , and shark fin . You can actually get 5 lessons including these drills by signing up for my newsletter .

[pwrbunt] The shark fin drill, I am a sinker and that one proves it every time.

[Tri Swim Coach]  I sink a bit too, even though I’ve been swimming forever. It's good practice for balance in the water though, especially if you’ve been out for a significant time.

[pwrbunt]  How much drill time do you recommend during a workout?

[Tri Swim Coach]  That depends. If you are a true beginner, 100%. As you advance, you can start doing less drilling and more full stroke swimming.

[pwrbunt]  I consider myself a beginner, I have only been swimming about 7 months now. Swam for about 6 months last year but prior to that, none.

[Tri Swim Coach]  Definitely start with the basic drills and work them for 2-3 weeks for now.  You can start with the ones on my newsletter and go from there.  I think it will really help with your stroke and your speed in the long run.

[pwrbunt]  Thanks, since I travel so much, having a swim coach other than here is pretty impossible.

[Tri Swim Coach]  Oh yeah. The waterproof drill cards I offer are also really nice to take with you to the pool.

[JoshR]  How can you tell if your wetsuit is slowing you down?

[Tri Swim Coach]   Josh, is it uncomfortable?

[JoshR]   Kind of.  I feel like it fatigues my triceps more quickly.

[Tri Swim Coach]   It might be the wrong suit for you.  Usually a wetsuit, with all the buoyancy it gives you, will make it easier to swim.

[JoshR]  I’m a swimmer so I’m very in tune with my stroke and it feels off in my wetsuit.

[Tri Swim Coach]  Josh, I know what you mean. I’m a purist, I’d rather do without a wetsuit!

[JoshR]   I’ve only worn the suit twice in races with very mixed results.

[Tri Swim Coach]  If you’re already a strong swimmer, using a wetsuit may not be a huge benefit, and may actually be a detractor if you don’t like the feel.

[JoshR]  I wore it for my HIM and my average was really bad at 1:35 but the conditions were terrible and then I used it this weekend and I did very well but I did about what I expected I could do without a wetsuit.

[Tri Swim Coach]   I use a 'farmer john' when the water is cold. It’s kind of a compromise, because my arms are exposed (which I like).  That could be an option for you.

[tjtryon]  I’m in the same boat as Josh. Bac- to-back pool swim times have shown I am not faster in my suit - wrong suit? Incorrect technique with wetsuit? Would a skinsuit be better - like the Xterra Velocity .02?

[Tri Swim Coach]  You may have to try out different suits until you find one that “suits” you.

[pwrbunt]  Skin suits are legal when wetsuits are not, do I have that right?

[JoshR]   Yes.  Skinsuits are also less buoyant.

[tjtryon]  I’m happy without a suit in 70+ water, I can swim consistently at 1:15-1:30/100 without a suit for an oly distance swim, will I really get any more of a benefit?

[Triswimcoach]  I would say ‘no’ tj, not much of a benefit if any.   It does however help you to conserve energy.  So you have to weigh that as well.

[JoshR]  For someone who is getting closer to the point where the only way to drop a ton of time is to train swimming full time what kind of sets are better? I do some shorter sets on quick intervals and some longer sets on quick intervals as well but I’m not sure what is better.

[Triswimcoach]  Josh, are you looking to drop time in your ows or your tri swim?

[JoshR]   Both.  Mostly tri swim though I guess since there aren’t any OWS around here.

[Triswimcoach]   Well, interval work is always necessary...a balance between shorter and longer sets is a good idea.  You also will want to add in some LSD (long slow distance) and count your strokes.

[JoshR]  What exactly counts as LSD? I usually do 100’s around 1:10-1:13 for shorter sets and around 1:15-1:18 for longer sets so what would count as LSD?

[Triswimcoach]   LSD would be swimming say a 1200 straight or 2 x 800’s

[Triswimcoach]   It’s been nice chatting with everyone! Good luck and keep in touch at www.triswimcoachonline.com!

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date: November 16, 2009

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Tri Swim Coach

I'm at http://www.TriSwimCoach.com- a resource for beginning through intermediate level triathletes looking for help with swimming. The site features a free email newsletter offering tips and articles on triathlon swimming. I have also written an electronic book titled “The Complete Guide to Triathlon Swimming” and created "The Essential Triathlon Swimming DVD", both available on www.triswimcoach.com.

For a 20% DISCOUNT on Zoomers Z2 fins and Freestyler paddles, go to www.finisinc.com and use discount code ‘aggies20’ at checkout!

Author

avatarTri Swim Coach

I'm at http://www.TriSwimCoach.com- a resource for beginning through intermediate level triathletes looking for help with swimming. The site features a free email newsletter offering tips and articles on triathlon swimming. I have also written an electronic book titled “The Complete Guide to Triathlon Swimming” and created "The Essential Triathlon Swimming DVD", both available on www.triswimcoach.com.

For a 20% DISCOUNT on Zoomers Z2 fins and Freestyler paddles, go to www.finisinc.com and use discount code ‘aggies20’ at checkout!

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