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Welcome to our Octoberfest month of Front Crawl Technique training sessions!! Whats your focus?

How has your front crawl swimming been going over the last month ie September to October 2021? What happens in our Front crawl Intermediate level fitness and technique squad sessions? For last weeks swim set we did a good pure technique session with swolf and working on optimising your stroke count, increasing your distance per stroke with some aerobic sets to keep it interesting. Swolf is a great way of measuring where your sweet spot is for pacing and stroke count.

There are currently 5 places available on the intermediate level swim squad so if you know anyone who would be interested can you please forward them this link? Intermediate level (pace 1:35-2:20 per 100 metres average group)

Look forward to coaching you next Tuesday 19th October 2021, be there or be....less efficient, less fit and with less feel for the water!

If you need a refresher on Swolf please see my blogs here on this:

Part 1:

Part 2: Really good first 2 Intermediate level (pace 1:35-2:20 per 100 metres average group) swim sessions back at Aldershot Garrison pool focusing on the entry and recovery phases of swimming front crawl. Following the Swolf swim test last week set for improving your swim efficiency.

Over the next 8 weeks we’re going to be focusing on improving your technique, swim efficiency and with a main focus on the phases of front crawl each week, looking at increasing your distance per stroke, and ironing out any stroke inefficiencies. Then a swolf test again in weeks 4 and 8 to check your improvement.

We’ll also be doing breathing timing techniques and working on the correct kicking technique each week (don’t worry not 400m kick sets) to really harness these areas, so they become much more ingrained and set into muscle memory.

However, as a little kick back into swim training, this is what happens when you miss swim training for more than 3 weeks physiologically...surprising isn't it (; and it takes twice as long to get it back. What do we do this time of year and what is the training focus? We are currently now in the "Preparation" phase of training – 6-8 weeks - very much technique and drills focused, volume and intensity much lower, breaking down your swim stroke into its component parts, shorter intervals and building it back up to a point where you can maintain the new form for longer

We don't want to fall into this area where you haven't completed any training for 3 weeks or more as the following starts to happen, Not Good!!!

Finding and setting your personal swim pacing zones in Training Peaks In training peaks you can see all of your swim pacing zones if you go to the top right hand corner on the screen, hover over your name, then settings, then click the tab for zones, and scroll down to swim speed / pace zones. In the swim squad groups I'll key in your swim pace at threshold per 100m either determined from a 1km time trial or a 500m / 250m swim time trial. By selecting the swim pace drop down tab, and joe friel for swimming zones, adding in your 1km time then pressing calculate, then your own swim pacing zones are displayed. These are the zones we’ll be using for tempo trainer sessions. After each fitness test these will need to be changed / checked. Winter Technique Check up There is one important swimming metric that completely summarizes your technique status, which you’ll become more aware of over the following weeks, and actively make changes whenever you know it deteriorates... your Stroke Counts. There is an indisputable correlation between lower strokes and faster speed. So over the next few weeks we’ll work on helping this to become an ingrained habit. As one of the simplest yet most powerful swimming tools, it makes sense to learn how modify this number. Luckily in a broad sense there are only two topics to consider when you want to make yourself travel further with each stroke, and you do need to master both because they affect one another... 1) Reducing Drag - via a better body position (combination of... leading-arm, rotation & balance). This starts with your front arm - it must feel likes it cuts through the water like a hot knife & butter. But then you also need your body to follow by leaning forward and pausing in a rotated position as well with each stroke. Great power in the water rarely overcomes a poor shape in the water so this topic should always be your primary concern. 2) Producing More Power (or more specifically, power generated in a backwards direction so that it might push you forwards). The first step with this is to learn to "hold" the water, and then produce backwards (rather than inwards, outwards, downwards or upwards) pressure on your palm. Sculling goes part way to helping you learn this elusive feel for the water. Swim Pace Zones Zones Determined by one's Lactate Threshold from 1km TT or 400m TT as a % of your Threshold pace or T pace (average 1500m race pace) Swimming FC Heart rate zones based on 100% being 80% of max hr 1. Active Recovery (Zone 1) : 0-59% 2. Endurance (Zone 2): 60%- 79% 3. Tempo (Zone 3): 80%-94% 4. T pace sweet spot (Zone 3.5) 88-93% 5. Lactate threshold T (Zone 4): 95%-105% 6. V02 (Zone 5): Above 105% 7. Sprinting >110%

Reasons for base aerobic training over the winter months We're going to be going over the physiological adaptations from training aerobically in zones 1 in this article: Zone 1 Improvements: Up to 65% max heart rate · Lung capacity and breathing frequency · Stroke volume of heart increases · Cardiac output increases · Heart size increases · Plasma volume expands · Blood flow distribution (shunting) · Heart rate decreases (average) · Inspiratory muscle oxygen cost reduced · Systolic blood pressure reduced · Capillary density increased · Fuel use (favours fat metabolism) · Mitochondrial size and number · Muscle fibre type shifts to type 1 · Increase in muscle fibre cross sectional area. Plasma free fatty acid use increases as duration increases Zone 2 : 65 – 70% Max hr · There is a greater reliance on the use of carbohydrate as a fuel · Development of aerobic capacity in zone II fibres · Ability to balance lactate production and removal (by processing in non active muscles) Lastly, what are your specific training goals and races / events you’re planning on doing next year? The more I know the more I can help you achieve them! So to recap we’ll be doing lots of technique this month, stroke counting sets at an aerobic level, Swolf this week and in 4 weeks time. We’ll be focusing on breathing timing and kicking technique with each of the next 8 weeks targeting one of the 8 main phases of front crawl. These are: 1. Entry 2. Catch 3. Pull 4. Push 5. Streamlining 6. Breathing 7. Body position fundamentals – streamlining 8. Kicking This will all help you to reduce drag and resistance and produce more power, and ultimately reduce your average stroke counts over longer distances. Add more speed, power and stamina to your front crawl! Improve your technique, pacing, reduce your stroke count by up to 10%, and your stroke efficiency (SWOLF score)! Learn how to control your pacing, reduce drag, become more streamlined, build your fitness, and become a Speedier Swimmer! Speak soon! Wasn't that woman who has now swum the English channel 44 times incredible!!!

Nick Head Coach Speedy Swimming 07958 635142 Level 3 British Triathlon Coach, STA Level 2 Swim Teacher, Training Bible Master Endurance Coach, Training Peaks Level 2 Accredited Coach, Level 3 Personal Trainer and TRX Instructor


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