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Swim Club Blog: Take the rough rather than the smooth

The Endurance Store Swim Club provides you with simple swim training plans throughout the winter months. The plan runs October to October and is completely free. We only ask that you pre-register so that your training plans can be emailed directly.

Registration is free and you may unsubscribe at any time from the Swim Club and stop receiving updates. Overview of the swim plan be seen below, but before you start you need to complete a test to set your swim paces, then register and download the sessions. GO HERE to register for swim club.

It's a common phenomenon, you get into the pool when nobody else is in there and the water is perfectly still and calm. Gliding through that calm water is effortless as there's less resistance and it all feels so easy. Suddenly 5 other people get into the lane and start thrashing up and down. The water starts to churn up and that effortless glide soon disappears. Now multiply that by 100 when you take part in a mass open water swim start. Everyone is thrashing and the water is so choppy it feels like you're in a washing machine. Gliding is out of the question, so how do you tackle it?

Key things you need to know:

1. Waves slow you down, even small ones. If the water is choppy, your speed will suffer and each wave that hits you is taking the 'sting' our of your forwards movement. That's why modern swimming pools have low sides and 'anti-wave' lane ropes, to make you swim faster. Remember the old Victorian pools with high walls and guttering? Coupled with no more than a 'rope' to separate each lane, at times is was like swimming in the Atlantic ocean!

2. In mass start races, the water will be very choppy and your speed will be affected. There's no avoiding this, so you need to understand how to best deal with it.

3. Your 'stroke type' will influence your water speed. If you swim with a 'catch up style' and have a pause or 'dead spot' in your stroke, you are more likely to struggle. A catch up stroke relies upon effective gliding, if the choppy water prevents this, your forwards momentum will be halted. Read more about the DEAD SPOT by GOING HERE.

4. When swimming in choppy open water, focus on constant arm turnover. You must be pulling yourself forwards at all times, so as your hand enters the water, go straight into the catch and pull without pause.

5. You need to practice in choppy water with other swimmers around you. Yes, it is nicer swimming on your own in a quiet lake, but if you want to fully prepare for mass start events, you need to practice in similar settings.

6. Most people don't like the mass swims but you need to become competent in that environment. Swim in a large group and become comfortable in choppy water, with other swimmers in close proximity. You should seek out the roughest water and learn how to relax, rather than panic.

7. The rough water is the fastest. If you have 200 swimmers in front of you, they create a huge draft. Many people move to the sides to get their own clear water, but this is the slowest place to swim. Get in the middle of the masses, it may feel as though you are not making progress and it may feel as though you are caught in a washing machine! Despite this, the draft will help you to reach the finish much more quickly.

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Regards
The Endurance Store Swim Club



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