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FIVE DAYS TO GO! What are the different types of sessions the squads will do? - "The 3 Keys of Swimm

Today I thought I'd go into a little more detail about the different types of session that the swim squads will do. Our belief is that in order to improve and reach your potential , your training week should consist of the '3 Keys'  - a balance of technique, fitness work AND open water skills. These elements should be practised year-round and include regular bench-mark testing to monitor progress. With this in mind, the main squad sessions are:

1. Technique/Fitness

The focus of this session is to blend some technique and fitness work. Working on these two areas simultaneously will help fine tune your stroke while giving you a great workout at the same time.  You can expect feedback on how to perform the drills correctly and a few quick tips on your stroke.

2. Threshold/CSS

This is the session where you will get faster fitness gains and the most bang-for-your-buck. Aimed at swimmers who are looking to get faster over distances greater than 400m this session focuses on working out at around your threshold/CSS pace (around 7-8 out of 10 effort-wise). This session will still include an element of drill/stroke work focusing on the effort level where strokes can sometimes break down when tired. You can expect feedback during this session on how well you are holding pace and motivation to keep pushing on when things are getting tough

3. Endurance

This session helps boost your endurance and is ideal for those training for an Ironman or other long distance swimming event. During this session you will cover 3000m to 4000m (but this can be reduced/adjusted down if you are not up this level just yet). Due to the distances covered this is a challenging session but one that will give you great satisfaction and confidence in your ability. Swim sets are based around continuous intervals that balance just the right amount of rest while at the same time keeping you moving through the session. These sessions will often not include a warm up, you will 'go from the gun' just like you do in races! You can expect feedback during this session on how well you are sticking to targets, holding pace and motivation to keep pushing on when things are getting tough.

4. Open Water Skills

Many open water swimmers and triathletes stop practising their open water skills as soon as the season ends and then don't get into it until the lakes reopen in the late spring. We think this is the wrong approach and that open water skills should be practised year-round so that your skills are fine-tuned and come naturally to you. We feel that no-one should enter a race or open water swim feeling unprepared and anxious. There should be no surprises, everything should have been practised time and time again. Doing this will make your open water swimming much more enjoyable and you will leave the 'summer only' swimmers standing!

During the open water skills sessions you will practise drafting, sighting, turning, pack swimming and much more. They are a more relaxed, fun session with the empasis on getting stuck in and getting (a little) out of your comfort zone. Even if you are never intending on swimming open water, these sessions will still benefit you as you will a great workout and build confidence.

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