Archive for the ‘Swim Workouts’ Category

There’s a saying in multisport that “No one wins a triathlon by being the first one out of the water.”  That may be up for debate, but it’s definitely true that no one wins a triathlon by being the last one out of the water.  And if you’re like most triathletes, you’re just happy to be coming out of the water at all!  This weekend, the Becoming an Ironman team is going to try to help you change that.

One of the keys to Ironman success is expending as little energy as possible during the swim.  But to do that, you have to do two things:  (1) Be comfortable and confident in open water; and (2) Have an efficient stroke.  We’ll concentrate on the former once the lakes thaw a few months from now, but this is perfect time to work on the latter.  Thursday night’s “dry land” swim instruction clinic, followed by Saturday morning’s clinic at Middleton High School, are guaranteed to help you start to develop a smooth, powerful, efficient triathlon swim stroke.

This is a two-part clinic, and for maximum benefits, it’s important that you attend both sessions.  Thursday night at Endurance House, we will discuss swim technique and view what proper technique should look like.  We will also explain and describe the various drills you can do to help improve your stroke.  Saturday at the Middleton High School Swimming Pool, we will actually do the drills together as a team, with Justin providing both general feedback and individual instruction on each Team member’s technique throughout the clinic.  This is a great opportunity for both novice and experienced swimmers alike.  Best of all, the only cost is the charge of admission to the pool! 

For times and location details, see the “Team Events” page of this blog.  See you Thursday!


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The new training program for Block II (“Strong Before Long”) is now up on the Team site – just in time for the New Year!  The “Training” page also includes an explanation of the philosophy behind the next 12 weeks of our Becoming an Ironman plan and the goals we have for this Block.

Even though this portion of our training plan is about building strength and, to a lesser extent, muscular endurance, it’s also about focusing on two fundamental elements of a successful Ironman:

  • Training consistently.  This block contains as many as 12 workouts per week, but all but 2 or 3 of these will be one hour or less.  The key to building strength and refining technique is frequent, shorter, and often intense workouts.  Don’t worry, once we move into Block III, many of these shorter workouts will be replaced by fewer, longer ones.
  • Turning Weaknesses into Strengths.  The first 8 weeks of this Block contain 2-3 “choice” workouts per week.  These are designed to allow you to focus on training those events that you consider to be weaknesses.  There is an old adage in the sport of triathlon: “Train your weakness; race your strength.”  This is the time to be working on that weakness so that it doesn’t hold you back from racing your strength when we begin racing in June.

As always, this plan is not going to be perfectly suited for everyone.  Following its basic format will set you up well for our long training rides and runs in Block III, but you may have to tweak it in order to make it work for your own schedule, goals, and abilities.  If you would like any help in personalizing the plan, please get in touch with Andy.

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Swim Clinic Details

On November 18, Coach Justin will be hosting our first Becoming an Ironman Team swimming clinic.  The focus of this clinic will be on proper freestyle technique.  After a brief warm-up, Justin and the other coaches will demonstrate the fundamentals of a proper freestyle stroke and show us drills that can help improve our technique.  This is a great chance to have Justin take a look at your stroke and give you pointers on what you can work on to become more efficient in the water.

The clinic will begin promptly at 8:00 am on Sunday, November 18 at the Middleton High School pool and will last approximately 90 minutes.  Because this is an exclusive Team event, and because of the logistical costs involved, there will be a fee of $15 for each Team member.  For those that cannot make it at 8:00 am, there will be a similar clinic (open to the public) at 9:30 am.  The fee for that clinic is $25.

If you are interested in attending the clinic, please e-mail Andy to confirm your spot.  Also, please drop off $15 fee at Endurance House sometime before (or during) the next scheduled Seminar on November 15.

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Swimming Pools

With the first week of our training program just around the corner, do you know where you’re going to swim during the winter months? For those of you still in search of a pool, here are two options:

(1) The official Becoming an Ironman team pool is Middleton High School. This is where our team workouts will be held. It’s also where team swim captain Justin Pernitz will conduct swim seminars and private lessons for those of you interested in getting some tips on your form (contact Justin directly if you’d like to arrange a lesson).  Hours and fees are posted below:

  • Hours for Lap Swimming
    • Monday-Friday: 6:00 – 7:30 am (limited lanes) and 5:30 – 9:00 pm
    • Saturday: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
    • Sunday: 11:00 am -5:00 pm
  • Fees: $5.50/visit, $40/month, $105/semester, or $160/academic year

(2) For those who live on the East Side, another option is Monona Grove High School. The hours and fees are posted below:

  • Hours for Lap Swimming
    • Monday – Friday: 6:00 – 7:30 am, 11:30 am – 1:30 pm, and 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm
    • Saturday: 7:30 am – 3:30 pm (beginning in November)
    • Sunday: 1:00 pm – 3:30 pm
  • Fees: $4.00/visit, $60/3-month, or $205.00/calendar year

Note: both of these pools are also used by the high school swim teams, so check the respective websites before you schedule a weekend workout.

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