Dive In with Speedo

On Saturday I went to the Speedo Dive In session at Ironmonger Row Baths. I have actually never been to this pool before despite being a member of Better Gyms so it was good to check out the 25metre pool. At the session were about 5 coaches from different swimming and triathlon backgrounds and then there was the lead coach Cassie Patten who won Bronze in the Beijing Olympics for the 10km swim (my new 2020 goal ha).
Now the first thing we were challenged with was to place ourselves into either the beginner, intermediate or advanced group. I put myself into the intermediate group (the guys put themselves into advanced of course) and after our 6 lap warm up they moved me up to advanced but I think that was more numbers than my technique. There were 4 guys and 1 other girl in my group and everyone was really nice which is always good.
We started by looking at our head positioning. This was much lower down than I am normally used to. If you stood and put a fist in between your chin and chest that’s the sort of position you should be in. This really helps with the alignment of your whole body especially for men. The only thing that was difficult was getting used to looking up and not moving your head to see how far the person in front of you was. This would definitely need some practice as we kept bumping into one another.

We then looked at hand positioning and ensuring that you went into the water with you hand straight/flat and not to lead in with the thumb and therefore your arm leaning inwards. We used the Biofuse Speedo finger paddles to help master this technique. Now I have the larger version and now I know how to use them correctly! What they got us to do was only put our middle finger in the strap, and not to use the wrist strap. Your middle finger is the start of your drag. The paddles basically tell you what’s wrong with your technique and were really easy to use just weird at first. If your paddle comes off it’s an indicator that you have started your catch too early or too late or that you’re entering with your little finger or thumb and therefore your arm is sideways. As it was only our middle fingers strapped in you could really concentrate on using that finger to start your catch by pushing on the paddle.This connected to the second part where we had to keep our arms fairly wide like 10 to 2 if you were looking at a clock. This felt rather odd as I’m used to keeping my arms in quite tightly. The analogy here is if you were going to try and climb a wall you put your arms far apart rather than close together as you would have more power to pull yourself up. This would be the same with swimming but you’re horizontal not vertical (one hopes). This also ensures that your arms do not cross over the centre line.
We then did some fist drills. This is when you put your hand into a fist and swim in freestyle. I think the fist drill is one of my least favourite as I never feel like I have accomplished what the drill is for. Here you should be thinking about your catch and really pulling that water back with the back of your forearm. It should feel like you are trying to hold something between your fist and elbow crease, still don’t get it? Me neither! The next part was acceleration. So pushing your arm all the way passed your hip and actually pushing harder the further back you got. This ensured that your were making the most of your entire catch.
We then started to look at hip rotation and feet positioning. The first drill we did was swim on our backs with our arms by our sides and kick with a fluid movement in the ankle. The feet should slightly turned in towards each other. There shouldn’t be any splashing from your kick and your knees shouldn’t come out of the water either. We then tried the side 6×3 drill. This is when you swim on your side with one arm in front and the other along your top side. Once you have kicked for 6 on your side you do three strokes to rotate to the other side and continue. This helps with the hip rotation and also your kick, my legs always feel like they’ve worked hard after this one. Next we swam with our thumbs out and every time we hit our thumb with our hip that was your trigger to rotate. After that it was time to put it all together. I’m not sure if I felt as graceful as I usually do but there were definitely some lessons to be taken away.
The session was completely free and an hour well worth spent as you got lots of individual feedback and you still have until the end of October to sign up. The coach did say that next year they were thinking about doing some open water session which would be awesome so I will keep my eyes and hears open and let you know if I see anything! Otherwise in the meantime go and #getspeedofit
Thanks #preparedtotri x

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