[016] Scratching the surface

Swim: 1,600 m/8,900 m

Bike: 0/6.35 miles

Run: 0/25.1 miles

I don’t know why it surprised me, but just in the past few days I’ve been getting an idea of what swim training can really be. For some reason, I had previously assumed that swimming was swimming – you hopped in the pool, knocked out some laps and called it a day.

But with the aid of some friends and the Internet, I am now realizing that swimming workouts can be just as diverse, or more so, than running workouts. In addition to speed workouts, I’ve been introduced to terms like “Statue of Liberty” and “kick set.” Just because I’ll be using freestyle during a race doesn’t mean there aren’t a couple dozen other methods of moving through the water during practice. Some laps might use only one arm, or legs only. All these workouts target key areas and skills, so when the whole comes together all the pieces can work together that much better.

For tonight’s swim, I threw in a few laps using hand paddles I borrowed from a friend. These increase the effort to move your hands through the water, thereby strengthening all kinds of arm, back and shoulder muscles. And when you take them off you feel like you can move much more quickly. So I did a few sets of 100m with paddles followed by 100m fast without them. (I’m still exclusively using breast stroke for workouts, although I threw in 100m of freestyle at the end of tonight’s swim.)

The fact that there are more swimming workouts than I first imagined shouldn’t have been a foreign idea to me, since I’ve been running for so long and am aware of the great variety of running workouts available. I’m excited to start putting them to use.

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One Response to [016] Scratching the surface

  1. Tom Knez says:

    Same thing applies to biking workouts. Base building, intervals, cadence and pedal stroke exercises etc. The list goes on.

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