Swim Bands….Not Just Another Swim Toy

Swim Bands – Why do coaches incorporate them into your workouts?  Do they love to see your ankles bleed?  The leg hair ripped out, the scars, and the mental torture?

Short answer is no, we aren’t into torture (or we won’t readily admit it), but we are into helping our athletes become stronger and faster swimmers.

How do swim bands help our swimmers?

One of the first things to notice is that the bands will quickly show the athlete how their kick is destabilizing their trunk, or somewhere above the hips they are causing their legs to move in directions that are not conducive to swimming in a linear fashion with minimal deviation.  The athlete needs to be aware of where their head is turning while breathing, the timing of their stroke, and whether or not their kick is being used as a stabilizing reaction versus a propulsion force.

Bands will also help the athlete build strength, and with bands taking the legs out of the equation it helps to increase stroke turnover.  Band swimming is similar to a runner running up a hill.  Where the body position improves (chest and head will automatically balance the swimmer to get the legs up), and the more strokes you take to keep legs up and your body moving forward increases strength.  The increased stroke rate helps the swimmer to become more aggressive in their races as well.

Every Second Counts

In a Sprint or International Triathlon, every second counts. .  Just like in the world of swimming where gold medals are won or lost, every 1/10th of a second counts more than you realize in the world of triathlon.

It could be that random thought where you lose focus, and decide to walk through the water stop.  Or the time you decide that you’ll let that person you’ve been trying to beat go past you.  It could even be as simple as a well executed flying dismount as opposed to running in to transition with your bike shoes on your feet.  Every second counts.

To excel at the Sprint or International distance races it’s really key for you to focus on all the small things.  So here are a few key things that you can work on to help make your race just that ONE SECOND faster.

  1. Work on your flying dismount
  2. Mentally practice your bike to run transition.  Staying calm and breathing is key to being as quick as possible.
  3. Learning how to run out of the water, while stripping wetsuit down.
  4. Start you run out of T2 smooth and easy.  Allow your body to find it’s natural rhythm.  Once that happens you’ll be able to giddy-up.
  5. Practice eating and drinking on the bike and run as efficiently as possible.
  6. And most importantly?  Believe in yourself, and train consistently!