Swim Speed Workouts Week 4-2: “Twist and Shout” or “Connecting the Swim”

Swim Speed Workouts Test Team logo

The Swim Speed Test Team is a group of volunteers that is reporting on their newfound swim speed earned over 16 weeks of the Swim Speed Workouts program.

Here’s what testers thought of this workout. You can try out the first six workouts of the Swim Speed Workouts program for yourself! (See below)

Swim Speed Workouts Test Team logoTEST TEAM SUMMARY OF WORKOUT 4-2:

Rebecca B. (The Open-Water Swimmer): “I completed 4-2 yesterday by myself, without my swimming group. It’s so different without the group to give me courage. I had good fatigue from the 50 Tarzan drills. I was able to complete all the press outs.  The 100s in the bonus set felt really strong and were just a tad over my usual time when I am in a group. The elusive part for me was the serape drill.  I am unsure of what I should be feeling.

Rich R. (“PR”): Enlightening. I’ve always wondered what my hips were for in swimming and doing the Serape drill showed me what I was supposed to be doing all these years. I know that I said I felt connected before, but that was all upper body.  Now, I actually feel like I am getting some connection from hands all the way to feet.  I was really surprised at how much more balanced I felt, and how much easier the swimming felt once I started to concentrate on the Serape position. Progress? Absolutely!!!  In the last six 100s, I swam consistent times at much less effort on the first and last.  I was about 5 seconds faster on the middle, but was really swimming hard to get there.

Greg S. (The 10x Ironman): In doing the serape kicking drill, it was difficult for me to get a good feel for what I was trying to accomplish. I did get a good feel a couple of times. The serape one-arm drill was clearer to me. After doing both of serape drills and moving on to a freestyle stroke, I was getting a better feel for the dynamic propulsive movement that we were trying to achieve. My kicking endurance is getting better.  I switch a few kicks to the “streamline on your back” version since I’m not very flexible.

Catherine L. (The Number Cruncher): This workout went great. Whatever was plaguing me for workout 4-1 was resolved and I felt great in the water again. I’m adding some of the arm drills during my warm-ups just to reconnect what I’d learned earlier. I loved the serape kick drill. The main set included the serape one-arm drill and tarzan drilling with 100 swim.  this was also great.  I could really feel the difference in the core movement as well as the rhomboids lifting the arm out of the water. They were quite fatigued by the third round. This set felt awesome! My endurance was great!  I keep seeing progress, I keep feeling better in the water.  I am putting the stroke, and underwater pull with core drive together and I am moving in the water in a new way.  It is a metamorphasis for sure and I am able to feel each new change.  This program is really helping to understand what I am supposed to do.  One of these days, I think I will be doing a Tarzan call! Yes, this program works for me, it really does.

Craig P. (The Olympic Speed Racer): I find it exciting when I am introduced to a new concept in swimming. This workout involved the serape one-arm drill, which focused on the core movement. It was interesting to feel for the coordination between the arm pull, core movement and hip drive during swimming. I feel I still need more practice with this drill before it is rhythmic, but I see it will be beneficial.

Jen D. (The Ocean Ultra Swimmer): Oops! Somehow I managed to misread the main set and did  2x 25 x 25 one arm drill … Needless to say it was a killer arm workout!

Chad L. (The Sprint Speed Racer): I was worried about how my legs would behave today since I had such bad leg cramps two days ago during the workout. I find I can do the kick sets more easily if I do the “streamline kick on back” so I did that instead. The serape kicks were not bad; my form wasn’t great but the effort didn’t seem to bother the legs or threaten cramps. As for the Main Set, I was tired. The kick set I had mixed feelings on.  Kicks are not my favorite but I do like the press-outs. However, second round of this set and a cramp hit me so hard I couldn’t bend my leg for over a minute. Never felt this kind of pain before from cramps. A fellow triathlete finished her session for the day and was talking to me as I was hanging on the side of the pool waiting for the cramp to ease up. She asked me several times if I was going to be okay. Anyway, I got out of the pool, did what I could do to stretch it out (which wasn’t very much) and headed for the showers. Took Thursday completely off other than a good half hour of yoga/stretching but my calf is still sore from the cramp. [Ed.: Chad has since recovered and reports that his leg cramping problem is mostly resolved. See this post on what to do about leg cramps during kick sets.]

Jennifer M. (The Coach): I cannot even begin to convey how much I HATE kicking, but was actually looking forward to this beast of a workout!  I know that I need to work on what I hate the most so this was a mental and physical challenge for me.  I have zero kick and am a fast swimmer in spite of this.  Even though this was so hard for me I hope there are more workouts like this in the future.  Yes, I am a glutton for punishment.  Slowly, but surely I will someday have a kick!

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 to try Swim Speed Workouts.