The following "Tip of the Month" columns were written by Dr. Paul Hutinger and published in the Maverick Lane Lines newsletter. Our first edition of "Tip of the Month" was in 1997.
There are many areas the Master swimmer can use to improve performance,
which can help your overall fitness and health. Flexibility is frequently
overlooked. Surgery on my left shoulder, made rehab part of my daily training.
The arm must be restored to full range of movement (ROM) before adding strength
and swimming to workouts. To maximize your flexibility needed for streamlining
and proper stroke mechanics, you need to extend your arms straight overhead,
behind your head, elbows straight, hands overlapped. I can now do this.
The other arm
Prepare for meets and your events with BROKEN SWIMS. The following is
an example for the 200 free: Estimate your goal time for the next meet--
3:00, or :45 per 50. Do 4 x 50 on 1:00 and pace your 50's for :45. This
gives you :15 rest after each 50. To be more specific for your race,
Try to hold your pace on all sets, taking several minutes between sets.
You will have more rest as you do each set, to enable you to keep your pace.
This works for all strokes, distances, and the IM's. If your times are faster,
keep the same intervals, but decrease your pace; if you are slower, increase
your pace. Once a week, you should do a set of repeats that increases your
Warm up--400 yds.
Swim this workout each week, write down your average times for each set and compare times. Try to improve your times each week by 1 or 2 seconds for each set, until you reach your goal time. This also teaches you pace for your events.
The technique of finishing your race is crucial, and can be the difference in out touching your opponent. In free and fly, put your head down and don't breathe from the flags to the wall. At LCM Nationals in 1998, Gladys Olsen was slightly behind her opponent at the flags. She remembered coach's advice, and WON the 200 m fly. In fly and breast, you need to adjust the number of strokes to the wall, by the time you reach the flags, so you are not too short or too long for the finish. In back, COUNT, COUNT, COUNT your strokes when your head goes under the flags. I won a 50 m back at Nationals by knowing where the wall was, even though my opponent was also ahead of me at the flags. These techniques will give you an advantage, as you will gain an extra stretch. In free, rotate your shoulders by rolling unto your side; on back, drop your head back: on breast and fly, drop your head and stretch with your fingers underwater. Keep your kick going strong untill you finish. An additional skill at the wall, is to always touchout underwater, especially where a timing pad is used (most meets). Do not grab the top of the pad or wall. This could be a whole second slower than a finger tip touch under water. In your workouts, eliminate bad habits of sloppy and careless finishes, and be specific with each of your strokes. When you warm up at a meet, be sure to practice your finishes on the pad, with your body stretched out.
On the calendar, page two, you will see the list of SCM meets for the
rest of the year. Set up a folder with these meets listed on the front cover.
When you first get your registration card, make several copies to keep in
your folder. Always add meet entries when they arrive in the FL newsletter,
whether or not you think you will compete in that meet. A small calendar
is helpful when checking dates. Use the same procedure for the SCY and LCM
seasons. Write down the order of events for each meet, so you can select
the best combination of events, especially if
Workouts getting boring? Looking for new ideas? Needing suggestions on training for meets, tapering, open water swimming or stroke improvement? Tell me how many yards you swim, how often, your 50 yd. times on each stroke and daily workout yardage per week. -Coach Paul Hutinger