United States Masters Swimming Offers Six Tips to Maximize Summer Pool Workouts
- Close your eyes: Swim 8-10 strokes in the pool with your eyes closed, then sight above water. This will help you learn to swim straight without using the bottom as a guide.
- Get off to a fast start: Practice a few sets of fast starts, followed by settling down to a more relaxed pace. This simulates the quick starts typically found in open-water events as participants angle for position before settling in to their paces.
- Dolphin it: Practice dolphin dives in a shallow pool to learn to get in and out of open-water venues more quickly than running often allows. Make sure never to dive in from the side of the pool, but rather practice short dolphin dips from a standing position once in the shallow water.
- See what you can see: Practice regular sight-breathing in the pool. Start by looking up every eight strokes, eyeing a target past the end of the lane (a window, deck chair or small building will do) and gradually work up to more strokes between sight-checks. Sight-breathing in the pool also will help train the muscles you need to lift your head.
- Be efficient: Lower your stroke count per lap in order to swim more efficiently. Try a clinic, workshop or lessons for some new perspective.
- Put the rubber to the road: Try out a brand-new wetsuit in the pool before using it in open water. Even with a wetsuit you already own, wear it for a few pool practices before a race. The pool provides a safe and comfortable environment to adjust for the way the wetsuit changes your feel for the water and body position.
United States Masters Swimming (www.usms.org) is a national organization that provides organized workouts, competitions, clinics and workshops for adults age 18 and over. Programs are open to all adult swimmers (fitness, triathlete, competitive, non-competitive) who are dedicated to improving their fitness through swimming. Founded in 1970, USMS is organized with 500 clubs in 53 regions throughout the nation.