Tag Archives: technique

ES – Learn to Swim Camp

folks you may have noticed a new Page on the Blog advertising a Learn to Swim Camp, that is scheduled for the first week of the holidays.  This camp is will not really suit a majority of our squad 2 and 3 Sailfish Swimmers, it is more focused on beginner swimmers, the upper levels may suit our level 1 swimmers.   It is open to Kindergarten to Grade 4 swimmers who have not had any swimming instruction right through to swimmers currently participating in the After School Activities Aquatics beginner and advanced program. The aim is to bring a significant number of swimmers up to the standard of being technically good enough to join the Sailfish Swim Club in the new school year.


So If you have a younger sibling or a friend who is in need of a crash course in learning to swim send them the link to the Camp.



Holiday Work Out Design

Who is going to go for a swim on their own or with a friend this summer holiday?

What do I do, I’ll just e-mail my coach and ask them to make one for me, easy!

No, not this holiday, I’ll help you design your own workout.

Warm Up

  1. How much time do you have? aim for an hour of swimming, break the workout into 15 minute segments, 15min for warm up, 2x15m segments for the main set, then a 15minute cool down set, If you are going to swim for only 30 minutes, break it down to 10min warm up, 15min main set, then a 5 minute warm down.
  2. Warm up your muscles and tendons slowly: You probably have been sitting at your computer all day, and decide you need to get some exercise, the warm up is designed to get your blood flowing to your swimming muscles, before you start swimming fast. Typically spend 10 minutes swimming slowing but technically well, mix up the strokes, Freestyle, Backstroke, Breaststroke.  We’ll do some butterfly a bit later.
  3. Get to know you environment: Have you swum in the pool before? If not the warm up is an opportunity to get to know your new environment, is it a 50m or 25m pool? are the walls slippery? Is there lane ropes? Is the pool busy?  Is there backstroke flags, diving blocks? Is it cold or warm water.  Some of  your answers here may change your work out, if there is no backstroke flags you won’t be doing any backstroke.
  4. Practice skills early in the work out: The warm up is also an opportunity to practice some skills or drills.  Later you may be tired and won’t be able to physically and mentally concentrate on practicing the drill well. Spend about 15 minutes practicing a drill or skill, concentrate hard and try to do it well as you can. Drills are designed to fix a fault in your stroke, you don’t need to do a drill if you don’t have a problem with your stroke.  Do a drill that you know that is helping you to improve a weak area of your stroke.  You don’t always have to do drills now, you could practice a particular swimming skill, diving, turns or with a partner relay change overs.  Do you know how to do a cross over turn? Its a Individual Medley backstroke to breaststroke turn, it a tough one to learn, check out the video on the technique/turn page to see a swimmer demonstrating it.
  5. Drink Water: Do you have your water bottle with you? sip water all workout. don’t wait till you get thirsty.  Our body is made up of 70% water, our body depends on a well hydrated body, if you become dehydrated, you can’t operate as well as you should. Your blood is made up of fluid and your blood carries oxygen and fuel to your muscles and brain.  If you become dehydrated your muscles won’t work very well, and you will slow down, you will feel tired, you could get cramp, you could even get a headache.  Your body won’t recover quickly either, you may be tired the next day as well.
  6. Main Set: The main set typically takes 30-60 minutes. It depends on how long your total work out will be. What type of workout are you looking for?  You should swim
    • Endurance set – typically you will swim long distances at a constant speed with short rest,aim to swim for 20 to 45 minutes. It should not be exhausting.  Endurance sets, develop your heart, lungs, and circulatory system.  This type of workout, helps you swim for longer, more efficiently, which means your body will be able to swim faster for longer amout of time.  A majority of this type of swimming freestyle , backstroke, kick, pull or whole stroke.
    • Fast Endurance – Typically this type of work out takes 20-30 minutes.  It’s like the previous set, but you swim at a faster speed, take a little more rest, this type of swimming is more exhausting so you won’t be able to do swim as far or for as long as a straight Endurance set. You can do this set doing any stroke, kick or pull.  Fairly exhausting, you will be tired after this set.
    • Race Pace/Sprint Swimming – Usually you can effectivly swim at this speed for 400-600m. Pick an event, and practiced swimming at that the speed you would swim that event at.  Even better swim slightly faster than your current best time, so you body gets used to swimming that speed.  Break the event up into small parts and swim, if you pick the 200m Freestyle event, break the 200m int 40X50m take about 30 seconds rest between each interval and keep track of how fast you swim each 50m.  This set should take about 20mintues to complete.  You will be exhausted after this set, it is physically very hard to swim at race pace for an extended time, even if you have a rest between intervals.
  7. Cool Down: Your body will recover quickly from a workout if you cool down properly, you muscles produces lots of waste material when you exercise, it if stays in your body, especially in the muscles, you used it you will get sore the next day.  A cool down is d esigned to lower you heart rate, and to flush your muscles of those waist materials. Typically you should swim about 400-800m in a cool down

That’s it for now, good luck with designing your holiday workouts.

it’s great if you swim over the summer, but make sure you have permission to go to the pool by your parents, and never swim along, always swim with a lifeguard or have adult watching over you. .

If you design your onw workout, sent it, I may give the workout to somebody else.



Training Secrets

Training Secrets of an Olympic Swimmer

BY Natalie Secretan

Building strength, perfecting body mechanics and technique.

Swimmer doing the butterfly stroke

It doesn’t matter how much you train in a day, if you don’t perfect your body mechanics, it won’t make much of a difference to the finish line.

For Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte, spending more time on stroke mechanics is more important than the 3 to 5 miles twice a day that he puts into his training.

The trick is to slow things down and focus on what your body is doing. Keeping straight in the water is essential, especially off the wall. Being streamlined for at least 15 meters off each flip turn, Lochte is able to transition into the stroke with increased momentum and this is key.

“The only way to really work on technique is to swim very slowly and really think about every little thing that you’re doing. How your body is positioned, what your hips are doing, the positioning of your shoulders and hands and feet.”

Body position is also crucial. Lochte recommends using a pull buoy between the legs and concentrate on keeping your stomach above the water during backstroke. Work with the water not against it.

Kicking is Key

Kicking drills are also important to develop strength and body position. The amount of kicking that most elite swimmers do in practice has gone up at least 20 percent in the past few years. Kicking drills will help you build stamina and strength, and improve performance so that you get the most out of your stroke.

That old staple, the kickboard is every swimmer’s best friend. In order to build stamina and prevent exhaustion, a swimmer must have strong legs and the kickboard is the ideal fitness tool. It helps with stability because your arms are still and allows you to focus on your legs.

In addition to his practice in the water, Lochte recognizes the benefits of weight training and the strength it adds to his overall performance. He spends three times a week in the gym and focuses on building core strength.

Weight Training

Every sport benefits from building core strength. This is especially true of an elite swimmer who relies on the agility of their torso to keep them balanced and streamlined in the water.

To warm up, Lochte likes to use a medicine ball, then it’s multiple sets of push-ups, followed by 500 abdominal crunches.


No training diet is complete without proper high performance nutrition. For athletes getting enough calories and protein is often a problem. During the peak of his competition, Michael Phelps consumed 12,000 calories a day. Supplementing your diet with protein powders and supplements is the best way to make sure your body gets the proper nutrients it needs. Whey protein isolate and creatine are fast-absorbing and easy to digest and provide concentrated protein formulas that help to increase muscle size and strength.

For more information on protein powders, check out our Product Reviews.

Relay Change Overs

This video is focused on our relay change overs, and how much time time is spent in transition from one swimmer to another.  Ideally there should be 0:00.00 amount of time between swimmers, but the closer we come to 0:00.00 change over time the greater chance of leaving early, so we should be aiming for 0:0.20 of a second change over time.

[flickrvideo width=”500″ height=”500″]http://www.flickr.com/photos/andyastfalck/4441316945/[/flickrvideo]


We have been working on butterfly this week, especially on the rythem of the hips and feet, watch Susie O’Niell  break the world record, especially watch how high her hips and feet come out of the water.

[youtube width=”500″ height=”500″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q35Hartp_KY[/youtube]

Diving – A Closer Look

[flickrvideo width=”550″ height=”500″]http://www.flickr.com/photos/andyastfalck/4395927262/[/flickrvideo] [flickrvideo width=”550″ height=”500″]http://www.flickr.com/photos/andyastfalck/4396046572/[/flickrvideo] [flickrvideo width=”550″ height=”500″]http://www.flickr.com/photos/andyastfalck/4397502486/[/flickrvideo]