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How Often Should Swimming Tools Be Used?

October 28th, 2014 | by Events Staff
How Often Should Swimming Tools Be Used?
Equipment
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Triathletes love their gear, and that doesn’t stop at bike and run accessories. Paddles, fins, snorkels and pull buoys are all swim aids (aka pool toys) often used in the water. But do triathletes rely on these tools a little too much? To decide, we put resident swim expert Sara McLarty up against coach Chris Huxley, the founder of San Diego’s North County Swim Masters program.

Sara: For late-blooming swimmers, pool toys can be a hindrance on their ability to develop a proper stroke. By relying on equipment to correct body position, provide speed and/or increase power, many athletes end up feeling slow and heavy in the water on race day.

Take the pull buoy. After logging hundreds of miles on the bike and run, it might not seem like a big deal to just drag your legs through the water and get a good upper body workout. Unfortunately, by overusing the buoy, many athletes never develop a naturally horizontal body position in the water. When they are forced to leave it at home, their back end drags very low through the water.

Chris: Tools help groom proper technique by exaggerating the effect of specific movements in the water. One key role of an effective swim coach, however, is defining the judicious use of pool toys, ensuring that the novice swimmer uses them as a tool rather than a crutch. Swimming with a pull buoy mimics the horizontal body position of swimming in a wetsuit, and since most triathletes will wear one on race day, a pull buoy simulates race conditions.

Additionally, part of the allure of triathlon is toys. Pool toys can add an element of fun to a swim workout, breaking up the monotony of black-line syndrome.

Read more of this article on Triathlete Europe by clicking here

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