Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Drills, Drills, Drills

I never could figure out why would I waste my time doing drills for swimming, biking, or running when I could be using my time for the "real" workout at hand. Well, this off season I've finally began to incorporate drills into all my workouts and my have my eyes been opened.

Favorite Swim Drills include:
"Single Arm" Is freestyle using one arm at a time. The non-stroking arm is held loosely by your side. I think this will help to even out and strengthen my total arm strokes while swimming normal.

"Push and Glide" Is freestyle swim, pausing at the end of every stroke with arms out-stretched, one held out front, the other held loosely against the body. This reminds of pushing and gliding while ice skating. I feel relaxed and surprised at the ease of gliding through the water and how it takes me less strokes to make it to the end of the pool.

Favorite Bike Drills on the trainer include:
"Runners", while pedaling, you stand up to an upright position WITHOUT holding onto the handle bars. I do this for 15-30 seconds and then return to seat for easy pedaling before I try it again. This drill is not easy but it does challenge my balance and coordination while strengthening my core.

"Single Leg Pedaling", with the chain in a big gear I alternate left and right legs of spinning for 30 to 60 seconds. I like this drill because when the workout calls for fast spinning I can manage the high cadence drills a lot easier.

With "Super Spins", I spin my legs as fast as possible without my butt bouncing in the saddle. The reps last 15-30 seconds long and I can get up to about 135 rpm before my butt bounces all over the saddle.

Favorite Running Drills at the track include:
"Skipping". As a kid, this was easy but doing them as an adult I realize skipping requires strength and coordination. To get a good warm-up before running fast intervals or repeats I would skip around the track in good form with high knees and a relaxed arm swing.

"Running Backwards". I like this because I get to use different leg muscles that don't get used during normal running. If I can run one time around the track while staying in my lane I am happy.

These are just some of the drills I began to work on for the past month. With all these drills, as I do them I realize that I have to focus on what I am trying to accomplish in order to have proper form. Doing drills have kept my off-season training fun, interesting and fresh. And who knows it might even help to improve my swimming, biking, and running.


TrainingtoTri said...

Glad to see a blog update! I love love love single legs drills on the bike. I am going to have to give skipping a try, I can't remember the last time I did that. Maybe I'll do it down the halls at work.....maybe.

Tri-Dummy said...

Sorry I haven't thrown you a comment in a while! Very sorry.

Glad to see training is going well.

GP said...

I LOVE, love, love skipping! It's so much fun and such a good workout. Although I enjoy skipping most when I'm with other people. They're always mortified. But at least I'm having a good time.

My favorite swimming drill (as I blog all the time) is one-arm butterfly. It's not entirely because I'm too lazy for full fly, but because it's a good stretch-and-strengther. I like the way it helps you feel the rhythm of your stroke. It's like water yoga to me. Intense but not stressful.