Trying to fit in a 60 or 90 minute into a 45 minute block of pool time? You are definitely not alone as that is the new reality of swimming during this COVID time. The question now becomes; how can we optimize our pool sessions?
The first thing starts even before you get into the water. Your warmup, does not in any way, shape or form require you to be in the pool. You can easily accomplish your prescribed warmup with a dryland routine. Think of the goals you are trying to achieve during an water warmup: increase heart rate, loosen up muscles and find the right mindset. All of which can be done while on dryland, in the parking lot of your pool, or while waiting for the pool to open up.
Try this sample routine
- 5-10 Minutes Skipping
- Great for the heart rate and breathing
- Twice Through
- 30 Sit Ups
- 30 Back Ups
- 10-20 Push Ups
- Chin Ups Optional
- 3*1:00 Plank
- 3*1:00 Cordz Work
- Focusing on the catch
- 5 Minutes Various of Arm/Leg Swings
Obviously, you can be more creative but this activates the correct muscle groups for swimming, loosens up the joints and gets the heart pumping. Equally as important is the mental space with the YouTube clip. I try to start every practice with my young swimmers by watching some swimming. It's a great way to teach, motivate and prepare the athletes for their time in the water.
Similarly cool down can be performed via dryland as well. A great example is going for a long walk, doing some core followed by stretching and foam rolling.
This should save you about 30% of your previous practice time by moving the warm up/ cool downs to the deck.. So if you used to swim for 60 minutes, you should now be able to fit in the entire workout easily into 45 minutes.
One thing I have been hearing from my athletes frequently is that they have a chance to stay longer at the pool when the next person doesn’t show up. I would advise you to be mentally prepared to take advantage of this time. The biggest thing you are missing by having shorter sessions is overall practice volume. Have a 45 minute low intensity set prepared that you can do if you get the opportunity to. Something like 6*400m Pull with Paddles desc 1-3 by twos is a very reasonable expectation. Always have a small snack and water on hand to have between the first session and the bonus swim.
Remember, that you are not cutting corners in your workout if you are getting the things you need accomplished. It is not about reducing or minimizing your workouts, it’s about optimizing them so that you get the best bang for your buck while you have access to that much sought after pool time.