If you want to have some fun with stretch cords and a Tempo Trainer, here’s a quick, challenging sequence to help you learn a better pull.
Why Do It:
By applying extra resistance, you either catch the water, or you move backwards. This drill will teach you how to connect better with the water by asking you to both reduce stroke rate AND maintain the same goal position and tension on the cord. This is a dramatically different test than what swimmers typically do when swimming against the cord, i.e., seek forward propulsion by increasing stroke rate.
How to Do It:
1. Set up the cord and get used to your set up.
2. Set your Tempo Trainer at your standard cadence. We started at .85. The goal was to remain close to the wall without touching for 10-15 strokes.
3. Decrease your stroke rate slightly. To do this, increase the TT by .05 (we’re now at .90), and get to the same position and hold it for the same number of strokes.
4. Continue to increase the TT by .05 until you’re unable to remain at the same spot for the 10-15 strokes.
5. As you begin to fail, learn that building efficiency isn’t just easy swimming but, rather, making every move purposeful, sharper, more precise.
6. Once you’ve reached failure, return to your original cadence and try again… mostly trying not to swim through the wall with your new-found feeling of powerful arms.
How to Do It Really Well (the Fine Points):
Graduation comes when the coach shortens the cord and allows you to attempt the same sequence as before. The extra resistance will quickly reveal the spots still needing work. Play around after the sequence with a shorter spot to get to. This will allow you to spend more time simply feeling the water.
If you’re a triathlete, like our demonstrator, now go for a run to clear your mind and get ready for your next swim session.