Tech Tuesday

Freestyle training aids

We’ve already shown you some hilarious swimming snorkels and talked about swimming costumes that take 30 minutes to put on.  But getting your freestyle faster and more efficient is an industry and there is even more “kit” you can put in your bulging swimbag, these days……

…….although “finding Nemo” armbands ain’t one of them!

Pull Buoy

Sounds dodgy, looks dodgy – but don’t let that put you off!

You clamp it between your thighs or ankles and it raises your legs so you don’t have to think about them – just concentrate on breathing and stroke.  An advantage if you’ve been overdoing the kettlebell squats and your legs are tired?

Kick Board

Continuing the line of aids that do something else to what their name suggests, sadly, this is not a board to kick against when you feel a bit overwrought and need an outlet other than chocolate…

used to be called a “float” when I was learning but now has holes in it for your grip – so it’s got an upmarket name 😉  Isolates one or two arms so you can concentrate on perfecting your kick.


Flippers to you and me.  NEVER call them flippers when anyone vaguely properly sporty and professional is around – they get disproportionately cross.  The effect of putting fins on your feet is a joyful speed and ease in the water.  You will zoom along.  They do help your leg muscles develop and the feel of the kick, but you will have some VERY cross people in your lane at the pool as you are so much faster than them – not advised without robust sense of self-worth!  Save it for open water or a swim lesson.  (P.S. not allowed in triathlon: for practice only)

Hand Paddles

Yes, they do look like torture instruments

ADDS resistance to your stroke so you can build arm strength and “feel” the water better.  Careful you don’t hurt your shoulders – they are vulnerable joints when you’re over 40 – better to build them up with some yoga planks and downward dogs on land first.  

Tempo Trainer

It’s effectively a metronome.  You put it under your swimhat and it beeps at a set tempo (as in music) and each beep is a stroke.  Sound perfectly ghastly to me.  Trying to kick, stroke and breathe to a predetermined rhythm sounds like a fast-track to water inhalation and sinking – but if you’re any good at freestyle already, maybe setting the thing at increasingly fast tempos will improve your speed?  Let us know if you try any of these!

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A tiny hobbit dedicated to saving the world with a decent second breakfast. Also, available to make you feel good in triathlon when you overtake her.......

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