A few weeks ago I wrote about a really simple hack that you can apply to your swimming. A few people asked why change something that is alreading working?
Well, is it really working? Could it work..better?
If the answer is ‘Yes’, then that hack will show you how you can increase your efficiency in the water, without wasting your precious time following drills that don’t apply to Open Water Swimming.
Here’s another little hack that can really take your swimming to a new level.
–But first a disclaimer: I have zero affiliation with this product. Meaning if you buy it, we make no money from that sale. We only recommend products for athletes that we know work. Not gimmicks.—
One of the challenges that many AG athletes face is poor swim pacing. They look great on 100m or 200m splits in the pool but when in a race environment things get crazy and the pace slows. Now there are a few factors that can influence that, but if you haven’t dialled in your race pace before the actual race, well it isn’t going to magically appear on the big day is it?
So you need to be in the water, putting effort into dialling in that desired pace.
Traditionally, we would use a clock or stopwatch. Don’t get me wrong these are very handy at telling you how many mm:ss you swam each lap for. But you don’t get any real-time feedback as to how you are pacing.
BUT you do with the Tempo Trainer.
This little guy has some cool functions. One of them being that you can set the device to beep at a given rate of seconds, continually. So let’s say you are swimming multiple 100m (in a 50m pool) repeats and you want to ensure that you are sticking to the pace (by that I mean, not blowing up in the first 5 and struggling for the rest) of 1:30/ 100m.
All you do is set the beeper to go off every 45 seconds. Once you start, the beeper will continue to beep every 45″ until you tell it to stop. If you have a tendency to ‘sprint’ (burn in matches) too hard early in your split and then slow down, then the beeper helps you focus on staying in control and becoming disciplined at managing to your pace. This is also important for athletes whose stroke falls apart after 30-40 minutes of swimming as the beep gives you an accurate reminder of where you are at: if you fall behind the beep (it goes off before you hit the wall) then you know you need to lift your effort a little.
Trust me, you will get strong doing this.
The beep keeps you honest. The beep helps you effectively manage your pacing in the water.
This translates to better pace management in races.
The beep can also make you faster.
So let’s say you become a master at swimming multiple 100m repeats at 1:30/ 100m. But you want more (we all do).
So now you set the beeper to go off just under that 45″ mark. And you start holding your repeats at that new, just slighty faster pace. It may take a few sessions but this is how you get faster, without completely destroying your body.
Gains in swimming are marginal (seconds) so you will want to progress slowly – DO NOT set the beeper to a ridiculous pace and expect that you can hold that. Be realistic. You will know when it is time to up the anti as you will be consistently beating the beeper each time. It actually becomes a fun ‘game’ and takes some of the monotony out of pool training.
Once you have dialled this in, you can start to use it for your longer swims (important) as the beeper simply continues to keep you in check. This has made a big difference to swim Time Trials and race splits of many of our athletes.
So there you go – another, easy to apply hack that will really take your swimming to that new level you have been dreaming about!
In the next swim hack we will guide you in using the Tempo Trainer to improve your Stroke Rate
Coach Pete Lever