Want to pull one over on your swim coach?
Talk the talk. Walk the walk. “Swim the swim?”
If you are like most triathletes, you think that your swim is “good enough” and chances are that you haven’t made major improvements in a while. Swim coaches constantly struggle with triathletes and their tendencies to change workouts, swim one speed all the time, skip stroke sets, ignore drills, wear their tri kits to practice, and opt out of wicked test sets due to other workouts they have scheduled for later that day, etc.
In service to the sport of triathlon and struggling triathlete swimmers, here are some time-tested tips for fooling your swim coach on deck into thinking that you know what you are doing in the pool.
1. Do your warm up like a pro. No need to race it or to count the lengths on your GPS device or your automatic lap counting device , get a split, or win it. True swimmers know how to eeeeease into their day with minimal effort, beautiful form, and absolutely no rush. In plain talk, sand bag it and stop your warm up when the folks in the fast lane are hanging on the wall talking.
2. Use your head to count lengths and leave your fancy waterproof GPS watch at home. The coach will be really impressed that you can count AND your lane-mates will think you have spent your life in the pool. You can then ponder appropriate send-off intervals or remark on the mathematical pattern of the workout and total the yardage for extra brilliance points. Learn to count and stroke. It may not be that hard after all!
3. Lose the Drills and Win the Form contest. Be the slowest sculler and driller in the pool during drill these sets. Be the poor fool who can hardly make the interval you are thinking so hard about your beautiful stroke. Be the swimmer obsessed with your feel of the water, the symmetry of your movements, the pitch of your hand, the height of your elbows, the rotation of your torso. Be a swim NERD and obsess about your swimming economy like your life depends on it.
4. Learn to FLIP TURN. You get style points. You get a free streamline stretch off of every wall. You experience the added hypoxic high of breath control, AND you can learn it on u tube in 5 minutes. Who doesn’t want to see stars and feel a little euphoric during the trials of miles!?
5. Finally, make sure to swim with your swim band in every single practice, as part of your warm up, cool down, or for simple entertainment value. It’s ok to complain bitterly about it and take 6 months learning not to sink or call to the lifeguard, but it will really, really impress your coach.
You never know. After all this talk of how to fool your coach, you might just fool yourself into being a better swimmer. You’d be a fool not to try…