Ever wonder why some swimmers seem to tote around mesh bags filled with "toys" to swim with? Wonder what's in those bags? Wonder why it looks like a garage sale at the end of some lanes? Here is what I carry to the pool with me.
|This is what happens when Jason and I|
share a lane. Stuff everywhere.
The kick board isn't mine, I pick those up at the pool. Pretty much every pool, everywhere, has them. I did go to one pool - the Palm Desert Aquatic Center - that rented them. So I didn't use one that day.
Most of the time I use a pre-written workout. I have a notebook with a bunch of workouts from Noa, and I also have a book of "swim workouts for triathletes". I prefer Noa's - they are really challenging! Some days I do my own workout, but that's not the norm.
Something I use all the time: my pull buoy. I do a few hundred meters of pull in my warm up. I also occasionally use my pull buoy when I use my snorkel (which admittedly I don't use often, but I should use it more). I see a lot of triathletes over-relying on a pull buoy to compensate for poor body position, so don't use it as a crutch. Use it as a tool to focus on your pull, not to fix dragging your legs (if you're carrying your legs really low in the water, work on recruiting your abs more. See band swimming below).
|Jason using his front-mounted snorkel.|
Great for really concentrating on form, and
some hypoxic training to boot!
Some of my warm ups also include some "band only" 50's, where I use a band around my ankles to prevent me from kicking. The band is simply a strip of tire inner tube. Used without a pull buoy is really difficult, and forces you to recruit your abs and have a strong pull if you want to get anywhere.
|Ankle band = no kicking!|
One of my favourite things that I include in almost every main set I do is some "full gear" work: pull buoy, paddles, and band. Really helps me focus on my stroke.
When I do kick sets, I often use fins. Especially if I'm swimming with Jason, as then we can kick side-by-side and chat. Swimming is not a particularly social workout, so sometimes it's nice to be able to talk while training!
You don't need all of this stuff to get a good swim workout in. However, all of these toys really are great tools to help improve your swimming. Good luck!