SWIM

Triathlon Magazine Canada - - TRANSITION TRAINING -

Lesley Pat­ter­son won the Xterra World Cham­pi­onships again in 2018 and is a five-time off-road world cham­pion. Known as a tena­cious com­peti­tor, here are her swim tips:

“Swim­ming is so much about your pro­pri­o­cep­tive aware­ness in or­der to nail your tech­nique,” she ex­plains. “Slight move­ments of your wrists, hands, hips, can have mas­sive changes on your stroke. In the off sea­son, I will of­ten do dance classes or mar­tial arts classes to get flu­id­ity of move­ment and a sense of my body in lots of planes of mo­tion. As triath­letes we pretty much move in the for­ward planes, so we of­ten be­come un­co­or­di­nated do­ing any­thing else.”

In terms of equip­ment, Pat­ter­son uses var­i­ous tools to help her form and en­durance:

THE VASA ERGOMETER

“I sim­ply can­not say enough good things about it. It’s strength ori­ented, you can put mir­rors all around you so you can ad­dress is­sues of stroke tech­nique. You can do full-on swim sets at dif­fer­ent re­sis­tances.” It is an ex­pen­sive piece of equip­ment. Some clubs have in­vested in them. If not, sug­gests Pat­ter­son, “Try get­ting three or four of your friends to all chip in a few hun­dred bucks and just share it around.”

IN­DOOR ROW­ING MA­CHINE

“You can fo­cus on ma­jor strength and aer­o­bic train­ing here that ac­tu­ally trans­fers quite well to swim­ming. Al­though its slightly dif­fer­ent mus­cle groups, there is a lot of cross­over. You can set ses­sions and have com­pe­ti­tions with friends.”

TEMPO SWIM­MING

By wear­ing a de­vice placed in­side your cap, you set it to beep and set a stroke tempo specif­i­cally for you. “This way you can fo­cus on stroked count and pac­ing. Add in the snorkel, too, and you can re­ally fo­cus on front end me­chan­ics.”

Pat­ter­son also rec­om­mends in­cor­po­rat­ing swim chords and get­ting a video anal­y­sis of your swim stroke.

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