In our busy lives we need to be efficient and make every second count in our training and a tempo trainer pro when you are in the water will keep you on task with your training goals and objectives.
Out of the water a set of StretchCordz will help build strength while executing optimal technique that you can see. If there were two pieces of equipment that I would choose to use to start making that next step in your swimming then I would choose these.
Tempo Trainer Pro
The two main functions that I use are Mode 2 - where you put in a time interval and are you are then provided a beep at that time interval - which is perfect for working on consistency of pacing therefore helping to developing better control during interval training.
Eg. If I was doing a set of 10x100m (in 25m pool) and wanted to maintain 1:20 per 100m then I would simply place 20 into the Tempo Trainer. I would get a beep every 20sec so as I go through the 100m I will learn how to ease back my pace early on to achieve my controlled pacing goals.
Mode 3 is the second option I use which provides you a beep per stroke (Stroke Rate). This is a great way to create consistency in your times through the development and understanding of the perceived effort in relation to your stroke rate.
To help get this right to start with complete a 6-8min swim with a perceived effort of 70-75% effort (endurance pace). Every 2min (if needed) adjust the stroke rate count up or down to match your swimming effort.
Once you have the baseline effort you can then adjust your stroke count up 2-3 to move up an additional 5% in effort.
A swimmer with a stroke rate of 65 at 75% then could move to 68 for 80% effort, 70 for 85% and 72 for 90%. Then using a well designed program can help you develop the fitness at these levels.
Swim @ Home
StretchCordz with paddles are such a great piece of equipment that is very time efficient for someone wanting to improve their swimming. The majority of age group level triathlete swimmers may have time to complete 2-3 pool sessions per week but if you want to really improve then spending small amounts of time on the StrechCordz I believe is the key to stepping up your swimming to the next level.
Technique is really important in swimming but what I have found from teaching mainly adults trying to develop their swimming is that they lack the muscular endurance to maintain effective technique for long periods of time. The other key missing part to most adults developing their swimming is feel for the water - it takes some time for an adult to be relaxed enough to know and feel if a change of technique is effective.
With the use of stretchcordz you can step up your swimming through practicing good technique and creating strong arm movements using the resistance from the Strechcordz. This particular brand I really like as the paddle (vs a grip type option) helps provide a swimmer the understanding of pressure on the water through the hand and forearm - instead of promoting a pulling action from the elbow to get to the end of the stroke (provided through a grip type band).
If you are lucky enough to set these up at home with a mirror or glass window that you can look at yourself completing the technique then you'll quickly start to develop the muscle memory and strength that should pay off in how you execute your swimming in the water.
Remember swimming is about finessing the water not muscling it - so don't go about trying to attack and muscle your way through the water.
- A small session could be just 5-8min prior to a swim session to help achieve muscle memory of key swimming movements through the stroke.
- An at home session could range from 10-50min - utilise the time that you have and especially if you can't make a pool session for some reason then you can pack the bands in your suitcase if your travelling or do a 15-20min workout at home prior to leaving.
There really is no excuses with a set of bands to miss any swimming workouts!