This evening was an OW clinic and I ran the swim portion. Met Rachel, Kris, Kate, Erin, Greg, Julian, Josh and Jim at Deer Creek and a storm was just coming it. It poured for about 15 minutes and then it cleared up nicely. Josh did the dry portion of the clinic and then we walked down from there to the waters edge. There were a couple buoys out: 1 about 100 yards out and the second one about 100 yards further. Each lap was about 400 yards. Here's the drills we did:
- Controlled and thoughtful swimming/Warmup: Swim with a buddy of relatively similar speed, and swim side by side and focus on synchronizing your arms to the same rhythm in pulls. Only breathe on the side facing your partner. Don't like that side? Switch sides! Stay parallel to your partner and try to create a mirror image. This helps you focus on several things: Forcing you to breathe to only one side should there be major chop going right into your face. Synchronizing your stroke is intended to make you focus on a steady and controlled stroke. If both of you are efficient at your stroke, this drill is so fun!!
- Sighting: Bilateral Breathe this time. When swimming to the first buoy, count how many strokes you normally do before you sight forward. Then after the first buoy try to double that stroke (or sight half as frequently). Trust yourself! Use the force! Envision where you are going, as well as sight off to the side instead of forward all the time.
- Drafting: Take turns drafting off your buddy. Practice getting close, but not too close. In a race, you don't want to make the leader ticked off. They shouldn't know you're there. But feed off them like a leech! I used to have the opinion that drafting was a faux paux and for dummies, but I'm starting to change that opinion. I'll tell you right now, when those super fast 10K swimmers come up behind me, I'm going to kick it into gear and try drafting off them for a good little bit. (Don't worry Will, I probably won't last long.)
- Buildup/Finish strong: To the first buoy lap really extend and hold your reach. Exaggerate it. Take the stroke nice and easy. To the second buoy swim normal. To third buoy pick up your pace, make it strong, but hold back for the finish... To the shore: Sprint! I want to see kicking feet, and some major effort. Finish strong. Leave it all out on the water, don't exit the water wondering, what if I had just pushed it a little harder? Staggered the swimmers so that they were trying to catch the person just ahead of them. Adds a level of friendly competition to not get passed.
@0.8-1.0 miles total