Lesson #6 – Implementing Catch-up For More Fluidity

author : Tri Swim Coach
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By Kevin Koskella, www.triswimcoach.com

We’ve talked a lot about hip rotation, getting onto your side, gliding, increasing your stroke length, etc. Today we will look at some practical ways to implement these techniques.

You may have heard of the Catch-up Drill in swimming. This drill has traditionally been used to get swimmers to glide more and get more distance per stroke. In the traditional catch-up drill, you actually touch your hands out in front on each stroke. The problem with this is that you are actually coming to a complete stop with your hands out in front- and you are therefore on your stomach as opposed to having to rotate your core.

The three drills we will be focusing on today are a more “advanced” version of catch-up, which help you with distance per stroke AND keep you rotating from side to side (hip rotation). Here is the sequence:

  1. 7/8ths Catch-up. As stated above, traditional catch-up drill requires that you touch your hand out in front on each stroke. 7/8ths catch-up is “almost” catch-up: don’t go as far as pausing on your stomach, but wait until your hands almost touch before starting the next pull. This drill is mainly used to set you up for the next one.
     

  2. 3/4ths Catch-up. Same as #1, only when your fingertips are lined up about with your elbow on your other (extended) arm, begin the pull. Here is a series of pictures demonstrating 3/4ths catch-up, a drill I recommend and give out often.



    Notice the hip rotation from the upper left picture to the lower right.
     

  3. 6 Kicks Per Stroke. Take a stroke, extend your arm out in front, kick 6 times, breathe to the side, take your next stroke. This will keep you on your side longer than usual and exaggerate the rotation and glide.
     

  4. 4 Kicks Per Stroke. Same as #3, only you are doing 4 kicks instead of 6. This is almost like swimming full stroke freestyle, only there is a slight pause to get in all 4 kicks.

Try this set in your next swim workout:

15x50’s
Rest= :15 between each 50
#1-3: 7/8ths Catch-up
#4-6: 3/4ths Catch-up
#7-9: 6 Kicks per Stroke
#10-12: 4 Kicks per Stroke
#13-15: Freestyle swim- focus on stroke rhythm, rotation, or distance per stroke.

Repeat this set and notice your comfort level – as you practice, you should start to feel the difference in your stroke on the last 3 50’s. Remember to just focus on one thing at a time- trying to do more than one is too frustrating! To see video clips of these drills as well as others, see www.triswimcoach.com and order the Complete Guide to Triathlon Swimming.

Stay tuned for next time as we play some golf and work on speed!

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date: January 1, 2006

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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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