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Super Grade 10 Swim Team Workout

by Alex
(Edmonton Alberta, Canada)

In the start of my Grade 10 year, I decided to join my school's swim team. Two days after I joined, training started.

Every morning before school, all 65 students who signed up met in gym. We ran for 10 minutes to warm up, and then we did core training. Planks, crunches, supermans, V-sits, boxer cycles, jackknifes... You name it, we did it. For 30 minutes.

By the time the session ended that first Monday, I was looking forward to 81 minutes of Math in first period. About 10 people quit in the first 2 weeks.

The coach, also the assistant principal, told us we would start swimming on Monday of the third week. I thought the dryland training was over, and the swimming would be a breeze.

The next day, I got up at 6:00 to get to the pool by 7:15. Once there, I learned we still did dry land training in the mornings. Everyone on the team grabbed an exercise mat, some music started. Here's how it went:

45 seconds - In sit up position, slowly lift torso, hinging at waist. Stop three-quarters of the way up while core still engaged, then slowly lower torso as far as possible without touching the mat.

10 second transition

45 seconds - Lie on back, knees in the air, bent at 90 degrees. Lift shoulders off mat with core, then extend one leg out, heel first. Touch knee still in air with opposite elbow. Slowly switch.

10 seconds transition

45 seconds - Supermans. Lie on stomach, arms and legs extended. Lift arms and leg, hold for 10 seconds, then slowly lower to floor. Repeat.

10 seconds transition

45 seconds - Front plank. touching the mat with only toes and forearms, hold body off the mat, keeping back straight, like a push up.

10 seconds transition

Repeat 3 times.

Needless to say, it hurt. Then we swam. A typical day looked something like this:

400m warm up, any stroke.
2x 50m legs only, stroke of the day.
2x 50m arms only, stroke of the day.
2x 100m slow stroke of the day.
2x 100m race-pace, stroke of the day.
400m cool down, any stroke.

If the day was freestyle, or backstroke, we might use hand paddles, or do rolling drills, like 3 strokes free, roll into 3 strokes back.

We might exaggerate reaching with each arm stroke.

We might do breathing drills, only breathing every 3 arm stokes, then every 5, every 7, every 9... Finger tip drag, catchups, we did lots of things, all of it 2x 50m.

If we focused on breaststroke, we would do 3 kicks, then breath, or 3 pulls, then kick, or work on pullouts. If we were doing butterfly, we did kicking with flippers, then using one hand, then two, or breathing every stroke, or every second, or tried to go as slow as possible while still doing the stoke and not sinking.

We swam about a mile every day. Not all at once, but if you rested too long, the coach would be yelling at you to get moving, and I could definitely feel all those 50m drills the next day.

It hurt, but I improved. Not so much at butterfly, but next year I plan on joining the team again, and hopefully improving my times.

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