The Open Water and Triathlon Season is well under way and many swimmers are now taking their swim training out into open water, which is great, but do you ever wonder if the standard “mile across the bay or lake” is really improving your fitness to compete at the level you desire?
In the pool it’s easier to hit your targets with the aid of a pace clock on the wall and the mere fact that you have a fixed distance, typically a 25-50m pool, to swim up and down in. During your open water swim training it’s not quite as easy; many swimmers just swim a set distance and may well just swim at a fixed pace and this may not necessarily get you race fit, if that is what your goal is. What about something different…
Using Hand Paddles during your Open Water Session
Try spicing up your session by using hand paddles. Providing the wind is light so there is limited chop, hand paddles can really spice up your session. Using them for short sets rather than a non-stop mile swim could be the best approach. For some variety and training benefiit, try these simple but stimulating open water swim sets using your hand paddles.
As always just before swimming off with hand paddles on you may wish to consider some mobility on the shore line, 6-8 minutes should be enough to warm you up. Also try free swimming (without the use of hand paddles) of around 8-10 minutes as this will prepare your arms and shoulders reducing the risk of injury.