Finding a Masters Swim Team
Themost effective way to improve your swimming or maintain your advantage in the water if you are already a good swimmer is to join a Masters swim club. For many triathletes making the time to get to a pool is the lowest priority as swimming tends to the least natural and most uncomfortable of the three sports. It can be cold, lonely, frustrating and time consuming. To make matters worse, trying to train during public lane swim is, at best, a little chaotic and at worst impossible. Why Join? Joining a Masters swim club can make swim workouts more enjoyable and force you get your swim training logged. A good masters team will make sure you carve out time in your schedule for swimming and will provide the competitive and social motivation to get through your workouts. On top of ensuring consistency in your swim training, a well- coached Masters club will provide you with valuable feedback on your technique, fitness and race tactics. For triathletes nursing lower body injuries and unable to bike or run, a Masters swim club can be a psychological and physical saviour providing moral support and structured training time. How to Find the Right One? The first place to look for a Masters swim club is on the Masters Swimming Canada website mymsc. ca. This site has a listing of clubs by city and province. It also includes website and contact information. You must be at least 19 years of age in order to swim with a team that is exclusively insured and registered with Masters Swimming Canada. Some clubs listed also have their own private insurance, which allows those under 19 to participate.
The second best place to investigate is your local pool. Taking a stroll down to the recreation centre, ymca or aquatic centre will most likely net you some results. Many pools have Masters or adult swim teams that are not advertised anywhere but on their internal bulletin boards. Asking the staff and specifically the lifeguards will provide you more information than doing an Internet search. These types of clubs don’t usually have age restrictions.
Another great way of finding a local Master’s club is to ask fellow triathletes or triathlon clubs. These word- of-mouth clubs may not be registered with Masters Swimming Canada or advertised on the Internet. The advantage of using word of mouth is that you will quickly find out which are the better clubs for your particular needs as a triathlete. Make Sure the Team Is the Right Fit. Finding a Masters club is a good first step. Making sure that you have found the best club for you is critical if you are to stay motivated for six months to a year. Once you have a list of clubs near your work, school or home, start making time to drop in to workouts. It’s worth spending a little time and money on facility drop in fees to get first-hand experience. Below is a list of criteria that may help you decide. I have listed them in order of importance, based on both personal experience as an athlete and feedback I have received from my own Masters swim club members.
during workouts? -
ment during workouts?
experience? if the pool is below 80 degrees? Above 82 degrees? This should be a serious consideration for most triathletes. This is one of the least talked about but most important factors. As a coach, it is very difficult to attend to more than 20 people in the pool at one time. As an athlete I find it impossible to have a quality workout with more than four people in my lane. A little more space will allow you to sometimes deviate from the set workout if you need more recovery or technical work, if you have a race that you need to prepare for and even for things like water running.
members? intervals will the coach allow you to swim mainly freestyle? are looking to learn?
Make sure that you talk to the coach or other club members about the freestyle vs. non- freestyle mix of the workouts. To make the most out of precious training hours, most triathletes should be spending 95 to 100 per cent of their time on freestyle focused swimming. The workouts should include drill, kick, pull and other freestyle related work, but the focus should be squarely on the freestyle stroke. The argument for “balancing” your muscles with nonfreestyle should be questioned particularly if you are doing a strength program
at least the swim distance you are training for? regular swim competition season (September to April/ May), or the triathlon season (December to June/July)? A Final Word of Caution Don’t delay signing up for a Masters swim program. Masters swim teams have limited capacity due to pool space and fill up quickly weeks prior to the posted start date. Even if you don’t intend to train in full force in the fall or early winter, it’s worth signing up and reserving your spot.