Videoing yourself swimming is an excellent way to see what your stroke looks like. But, to correctly identify any weaknesses and to know how to make improvements, takes an expert eye. Tri-Trained are now offering expert analysis of your stroke by video. We will analyse your swimming technique and specify exactly which areas of your stroke would benefit from some shape changes and the specific drills to reinforce the change.
Where do I start?
The starting point is the videoing and getting the right shots to get the most from our analysis. This article has been written with this in mind and will allow you to get the best shots. If you then want to send this into Tri-trained and have one of our coaches give you expert feedback or, alternatively, to analyse the video yourself, I am sure this article will help.
The best place to get the right video shots is down at your local pool. Make sure you have permission to video before you start and then ask a friend to record around 10 seconds of your stroke from these angles.
The next two angles are not essential, but do give us a lot of extra information. Only attempt these shots if you have a waterproof camera! A GoPro or clone would be perfect
You will need…
And don’t change your swim stroke ‘just for the camera’. Swim like you do when nobody is watching.
Now you have the video what should I do?
Once you have the four videos, please check you are happy with them and that you have included, if you can, all the four angles. You now have what you need to allow a coach to perform an analysis of your stroke.
The last few weeks have been a real challenge and I know you are all keen to get back into training ASAP. The lock down is gradually relaxing and we are hoping that next month (July) we will back in the water, doing what we all love – SWIMMING !
Now is the time to check out your kit and perhaps update it ready for when we start. Here is a reminder of what to check and a list of kit you will need.
You do have a spare pair, don’t you? So you are prepared for anything? Make sure you adjust them before arriving at the pool, just in case.
If you already have fins, check that they still fit your feet. Fins should fit snugly; if you can fit multiple fingers in the space between fin and skin they are too big! If fins are loose they will cause chaffing and likely painful blisters in the long run. We recommend 1 shoe size up when selecting a fin, as your feet will swell slightly during training.
Look for any splits in the rubber, especially around the back of the fin. Replace them if you find any.
Our recommendation for a good quality, general purpose centre mounted snorkel is the Finis Swimmers Snorkel. Remember that these should be cleaned on a regular basis, which can be easily done by running the snorkel through a wash cycle on the top rack of the dishwasher (without the head bracket). When looked after properly these snorkels will last a long time.
Make sure to check the head band and the mouth piece for any damage regularly. Replace it if you find anything wrong.
It’s always a good idea to use a nose clip strap, that either attaches to the bridge of the goggles or has a longer neck strap. These are used to prevent the nose clip from being lost in use. This is especially useful in open water swimming, where it would be impossible to find the clip if it falls off. Check the strap and replace it if you find any damage. Remember to regularly clean these as they tend to get stored damp in plastic cases, which can mean they are prone to bug growth.
Which nose clip strap do Tri-Trained recommend? Why, our own brand-new Keep – it of course! It’s a very neat and secure nose clip strap at a modest price if you are looking for one.
Tri-Trained can supply you with a long-life silicone swim hat at a very reasonable price. If you like, you can have your name added.
If you want to reduce the number of pieces of kit you carry around, then consider a kickboard/pull buoy combination, these are foam boards that can be used for either role.
Also consider the combo kick board/pull buoys explained in the kick board section above.
Check for any splits and give them a good clean, if they have been sitting in your bag for a while.
With the recommendation from Swim England to arrive at the pool ‘ready to swim’ and to change on the pool deck these become almost another ‘must have’ item.
Use Catch-it during the warm up to remind you of the correct feel of the stroke. And throughout your training session, to ensure you get that hand entry right.
Think of it as your own personal coach, gently reminding you. Keep it in your swim bag and use it regularly to keep things going well
The development of an annual training plan, aimed at delivering peak performance for a particular competition or a group of competitions, is one of our most difficult tasks to get right. It involves taking all of the individual components of an event and spreading the training of each of these components into a long term plan.
Fitness with focus is the aim, but there are many components that contribute to fitness :-
Conditioning an athlete requires focus on :-
So what do we mean by each of these :-
Individual differences – Training has to be as specific as it can be, as all individuals react differently to training.
Adaptation – With a change of demand with training the body will, over time, adapt to cope with these stresses.
Overload – If we are going to improve, we have to do something different. Training must include work that exceeds that which is normally experienced.
Reversibility – Here we must understand that adaptations made from overload will be lost if the training isn’t maintained.
Specificity – The changes the body makes to overcome the stresses will be specific to the type of training the athlete is exposed to. So it's important that training has a specific focus to improve the elements needed in the relevant competition.
Progression – Training has to develop and increase as the individual's capacity for work is increased - do the same, get the same.
Variation – The training should vary over time. Training the same all the time will return a diminishing improvement and so training has to include variety, whilst covering relevant components of fitness
Recovery – One of the most important elements. This allows the body to replenish energy stores and repair / replace damaged tissue, in preparation for the next phase of training.
Long-term planning – Develop a structured and controlled development plan for individuals, allowing them to deliver on their long term goals.
The above makes up the principles of conditioning and are aimed at delivering increased performance. A managed development program will deliver improvements demonstrated in the diagram below. This is called the over-compensation model.
Developing all aspects required to improve fitness at the same time would be crazy. Time and energy would not allow it and the training required for some components, would interfere with the training required for others.
To overcome this we break the training into separate periods each of which will have separate goals and training methods. These different periods are designed to maximise the gains in the different components of performance.
This process is called Periodisation and can be characterised by changes in goals, training focus, volume and intensity over time. The time period can vary and is normally talked of as the Macro Cycle. This macro cycle is then broken down into several training phases :–
Recovery phase – Usually at the end of a cycle, but can also be seen as the start of the next macro cycle. This involves a break from any serious training, usually lasts about 3 – 6 weeks, consists of fun exercise and is focused on both physical and mental recovery.
Preparation phase – Low intensity training with high volume. So, slow aerobic work, long swims, runs or bike rides at a slow pace. The focus is on physical conditioning, technique and practising scenarios. It involves aerobic endurance, strength, technical and mental skills training. It forms the basis of all other training.
Pre-competition phase – Here there is an increase in intensity, with a decrease in volume. Normally a 4 – 8 week period with some possible pre-season competition. Can include some tactical and more specific technical and mental training. The rate of change in this period is dependent very much on how individuals respond to changes in intensity and therefore can tend to be more specific.
Competition phase – This phase sees a further increase in intensity, with a subsequent reduction in volume. The training intensity is more specific to the selected events. Some increased focus is also given to nutrition, recovery, warm-up and cool down routines for competitions.
All of the above is about conditioning the body in the right way to aid the structured and controlled development of individuals to deliver their goals.