Sink Or Swim

Swimming drills in workouts help improve stroke control, body positioning, and propulsion. A friend recently shared a link to Coach Joel Filliol’s Top 20 Rules for Faster Triathlon Swimming which can be found at As I read through it, I learned from Rule 11 to “use a band frequently.” Now I was pretty sure he was not referring to music. With a little inquiring, I found out it is a band worn at the ankles durning a pull set. The objective is to improve body positioning and propulsion and train the swimmer to catch more water.

I found an ankle band and worked it into my workout this morning, I started with a 1,000 meter warm up of 500 swim, 300 pull, and 200 kick. Next was 10 x 100 on a 2:15 send off coming in on 2:05. I was able to accomplish this on the first 4, the last 6 were closer to 2:07 – 2:10. Since this will be my routine Friday morning swim, I am excited to see the improvement in this set over time. Next up I did 300 pull and worked the band into the set. First I did 200 with the band and a pull buoy. Piece of cake. For the next 100 I took out the pull buoy and swam approximately 5 meters before my back end sunk like a rock. Wow, that band is really tough. Now I know why it is suggested to swim with the band in 25 meter sets resting in between. The band forces the swimmer to find a way to catch water to keep afloat or you go down faster than the Titanic. Seriously. After my weak attempt to band pull for 100 meters, I then kicked for 200 and finished with 10 x 50 meters on 1:10. I was able to do 5 within the time but the last 5 were on 1:15. Once again, I am looking forward to seeing my improvement.

But what I am really looking forward to most is mastering that darn band. When swimming with it I have to not be concerned about my total overall swim time for that workout. It will take time, effort, and patience – but I will do it. And then there is that issue with flip turns… I have to get the passion in me to master a flip turn too…

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