Swim Speed Workouts Week 3-1: “Grabbing Water” or “Swimmer’s Best Friend”

Swim Speed Workouts Test Team logo

The Swim Speed Test Team is a group of volunteers that is testing out Sheila Taormina’s 16-week Swim Speed Workouts program and reporting back on their progress.

Here’s what testers thought of the seventh workout.

Swim Speed Workouts Test Team logoTEST TEAM SUMMARY OF WORKOUT 3-1:

Chad L. (The Sprint Speed Racer): Drills, drills, and more drills. A first for me was the dog paddle drill. I can say it definitely works the muscles in a new and challenging way. The best part of doing these drills is catching people watching me and checking out the expression on their faces. My overall stamina is still on the way up. May 4 is my first race and I have a feeling those 525 yards will be the least taxing I have ever done for a race.

Rich R. (Recovering from Injury): I am loving the water again. I used to be a swimmer that really enjoyed fins, and paddles.  I see the light in not using them as much though.  Even for kick sets, my core, and legs seem so much stronger already.  I don’t get across the pool as fast, but what I find is that even when I blow up during the kick sets, I have core left for the swimming later in the workout.  I must say I am a little envious of swimmers flying by me with fins, but I have seen the light in doing kick sets without them.  My form is cleaner and my swim is stronger because of it.

Craig P. (The Olympic Speed Racer): This workout had some really good drill sets.  Switching between a drill for the first 25 then straight into freestyle for the second 25 helped to reinforce the purpose of the drill. The second drill set turned out to be more challenging than it looked on paper. I’m starting to get faster at the Tarzan Drill.  Beside the other positive benefit of the drill, I think it will also help me when sighting buoys during open water swimming.

Rebecca B. (The Open-Water Swimmer):  I am on vacation for a week and have brought along my workouts for the week as well as the tubing. My cousin is also a swimmer and is happy to add some spice to her swimming.  I have introduced her to the program and she is enjoying the new challenges of the times and the tubes.  We found 3-1 to be just challenging enough.  Funny thing:  as we were in between sets, a pool employee asked us if we were training for a tri. We replied that we are just training for life. I find it strange that people often think because I am training in a pool, I must be getting ready for a triathlon. Why can’t I just be a swimmer? The tubing is paying off.  I feel stronger in and out of the water.

Catherine L. (The Number Cruncher): A fabulous workout of drills that focus on the high elbow and feel for the water. Not only is my stroke transforming, so is my ego. The swimmer before this program was an unfocused mess! My drill sets before might have been 6 x 50 random drills. No wonder I wasn’t improving. And if the person in the next lane was swimming faster, well of course I had to swim faster, too. Now I’ve put blinders on so I can stay focused and check my ego at the door. Today, I did 20 sets of swimming drill combinations. Now I know that slowing down and breaking down the stroke is what will speed me up in the end.

I can feel changes of force on the water now. I sense this is huge progress. I am so in love with this program. There is not one thing that hasn’t been useful for me. This program just makes so much sense for me.  I have tried a lot of programs with slight improvements. Sheila is not only an accomplished swimmer, she is a smart cookie.

Jennifer M. (The Coach): I think I finally learned how to scull today! I probably looked a little funny to onlookers at the pool today, but I know that I am swimming with a purpose. I think I am finally keeping my elbow high without thinking about it so much.  Good form is becoming more automatic.  Getting that “feel” for the water.

Greg S. (The 10x Ironman): The frequent switching from drills to freestyle was very helpful in giving me a good feel for the high elbow, use of the right muscles, and also for the water. The instant feedback worked well.  The dog paddle and Tarzan drills really helped imprint the high elbow, I think.

Doug P. (The Masters State Champ): A certain coach of mine keeps making sounds during the dog-paddle and Tarzan drills. Laughing is making this much harder!

Michelle S. (The Beginner Swimmer): After being out of the water for 3 weeks I was dubious of my muscle memory, but I have good news: I felt just like a fish in water! My personal focus was on relaxing and controlling my kick. My body wants to kick, kick, kick as a means to stay afloat, but I’m learning that things like abs, arms and back strength are all key to buoyancy and speed.

Rhoden G. (The Soldier): A good workout. The sculling is still a challenge for me, but Sheila’s note “don’t just spin your wheels” was helpful.

TRY THE FIRST TWO WEEKS OF SWIM SPEED WORKOUTS YOURSELF! Based on our Test Team feedback, you will be swimming noticeably faster after two weeks on the Swim Speed program. You’ll have developed a high-elbow catch and a better feel for the water. You’ll have begun to strengthen your core, and your swimming fitness will be rising rapidly. Click here to learn how.