The thing I love about being a triathlete is there’s always something I can work on for improvement. For the past few months it’s been about improving my swim and I’m glad to say all the solo training sessions I’ve done have paid off. That said, a fresh pair of eyes can see what I can’t; that’s why I popped into the Get Speedo Fit Camp a few weeks ago held at Fitness First Platinum in SM Aura, which was facilitated by Coach Anthony Lozada.
It was an intimate batch of participants all interested in learning to swim better, whether they wanted to start competing in aquathlons and triathlons or just swim for fitness. According to Coach Anthony, the training approach for fitness swimming and competition swimming is different, and he separated our group accordingly.
Since we all knew the basics of moving through the water (avoiding becoming what Coach Anthony called a “learn to swim” class), it was now time to fine-tune technique. Coach Anthony did this through both taking video and using Speedo’s training aids.
During the warm-up laps, Coach Anthony took a look at our form. He commended me on being able to breathe in the “hole” created by the bow wave from my head. “Very few [recreational] swimmers can do that. Siguro you were a varsity swimmer,” he said. I laughed and replied that I had never been one.
We used the center snorkels and fins for our first drill. Having never used one it felt really weird and water kept going up my nose until Coach pulled out some nose clips for us. However, he pointed out the advantages of doing kick sets with the center snorkel: no shoulder strain from using a kickboard, you train proper body and head position, and you can breathe continuously without lifting your head out of the water. We kicked in prone position as well as rotating from side to side, and Coach told me that whenever I kicked on a certain side I tended to lift my head to look forward. This causes drag which can slow me down.
Our second set of drills involved the hand and finger paddles. He made us try them for two laps each so we could become more aware of where on our arms and hands we could catch and press water back. I noticed that due to the weight and shape of the paddles, my arm recovery above the water became more relaxed (instead of my elbow aggressively bending for that “high-elbow” look) and my hands entered the water further forward than I’m used to.
Meanwhile, Coach Anthony was taking video of everything so he could look at it after the session and send us some recommendations via email. He told me my stroke looked more relaxed after the drills, but also told me by the end of the camp he would like to see me move further in the water per stroke than I was currently.
After a light post-workout breakfast we listened to a short lecture about swimming, and then played a little game where I won my own center snorkel!
Swimming is so technical and as adult learners it’s really important we know why we do certain drills and sets. We convene again this Saturday for Session #2 and I’m excited for more.
Thanks to Speedo and Coach Anthony Lozada for this opportunity to Get Speedo Fit!