We have company in town, and with a rough schedule, it gets increasingly hard to get to the pool. HOWEVER, the sun is out, and the pool is about 76° in the backyard, so… First, let me say the backyard pool is 50′ long and square. It’s just enough that with a short push off, you’re actually getting some swimming in.
To get used to the water, I went for a short run to warm-up, and get some sweat going. Then, jumped in the pool, dropped a couple underwater pool toys near the walls so I could see when to turn. Started by swimming 20 laps freestyle, getting used to how many strokes it took to get from one end to the other, it was between 6 and 7, which is nice.
Next 20 laps was kick, alternating flutter, breast, dolphin, breast… etc. untill done.
Next 20 laps was pull, again alternating freestyle and breaststroke.
Back to swimming for 20 more. freestyle
Then 20 more switching from butterfly, to free, to breast to free to fly… etc.
So, about 100 laps, then I hooked up the stretch cord to the diving board. This cord allows me to get all the way to the other end, but requires a good amount of work to make it there. I like to work on my pull, and upper body with this, so I put on a pull buoy to keep the hips up, and large hand paddles so I can really leverage on the water.
First, 20 reps down and back freestyle. A couple things really become evident quickly. First, NO GLIDE, because if you do, you’ll get YANKED backwards, and it’s going to take you forever to get to the end. Second, the turn better be QUICK. What I end up doing is touching the wall with my hand, and quickly tucking up my legs to TAP the wall before being pulled back. A few strokes trying to grab a breath, flip, and go again. This for 10 reps, or 20 laps is a real workout.
Switch now to sculling drills for breaststroke and forearm work. First hands way out front, trying not to bend the elbows, working on the outsweet at the front of the stroke. I find that I go much slower, but never stop moving forward. It takes longer to get to the end, but is never really a problem. It shows I actually DO know how to really hold the water well and have no dead spots in this drill. Turn, swim back, then move the hands out to the sides. Same as the first drill, I just keep moving forward. Finally, short, quick, breaststroke pulls, really have to work on a quick recovery so I don’t move backwards. I repeat this for 20 laps, back and forth. Again, very tough, and I’m whipped.
An easy 20 laps just slow smooth freestyle, and that’s it.
I’m going to be doing much more of this and maybe a couple or few times a day to get myself ready for the Bay Swim in less than a month. The most important thing about preparing for a swim is being in the water. Big pool, little pool, open water, BATH TUB… stay wet as often as possible, and you’ll be fine.