What’s your choice of poison when it comes to swim practice?
It’s a joke- I don’t think there is actually a “poison” when you’re practicing swimming (unless you’re downing too much of that chlorinated pool water!)
At Tri Swim Coach, we’re known for being minimalists when it comes to equipment in swim training.
It’s not that kick boards and pull buoys are EVIL, they are just often abused.
What I mean is, swimmers will grab a buoy because it makes them faster in the water- by improving their buoyancy, unnaturally.
Or they’ll put on fins to make the next fastest interval.
Or they will kick with a kick board in the attempt to get a faster kick.
Do you do any of the above?
Well they could be a form of cheating. If you’re using them the wrong way.
So when is cheating okay?
Here are 3 ways that “cheating” is okay when you’re training for swimming:
1. Using fins when practicing drills. Fins, especially the short ones like Zoomers, will help you get drills much more quickly. They will also help you improve your kick. But most of the time, wearing them to go faster is not a good idea- you’re cheating yourself into thinking you’re faster than you are, then you get to a race and sadly, fins aren’t allowed- and it feels soooo slowwww!
2. Using Lava Shorts/Pants. Similar to fins, the Xterra Lava Pants and shorts can help you stay on the surface of the water and learn the drill. They can also be great to wear for sprints. You’re training your body to go faster. However, continuously wearing them at every or even most workouts will end up hurting you in a race.
3. Kick boards. Okay these serve almost no purpose in helping your stroke technique or speed. Actually none unless you want to train for an event that involves using a kick board! But I’m not totally against them. You need to mix up your workouts and have FUN when you train. Kicking with a board can be a nice break in the middle of a workout, especially if you have a friend to chat with for a couple hundred meters!
So cheating can be okay, just know how to cheat the right way.
Befriend that water, and enjoy your weekend!