This weekends training – Developing your catch and a 5km time trial!

A ‘strong’ catch and pull will make you both faster and more efficient swimming freestyle. You will not only give yourself more time to breathe but you will expend less energy in the water. This will translate into less of that horrible breathless feeling while swimming, a faster swim and more energy for the bike and run.

Some tips for a correct ‘catch and pull':

  1. Hand entry: As your hand enters into the water, take care to make sure it does so finger-tips first, lengthening forward in front of the same shoulder with the middle finger pointing the way to the far end of the pool.
  2. Extension: As you reach forward with good body roll make sure you do so with the palm of the hand looking at the bottom of the pool and with the finger tips angled slightly down. ‘Putting the brakes on’ by dropping the wrist and pushing forward is very common and a habit you want to try to break. It is common in those swimmers that ‘over-glide’.
  3. Initial catch: At full reach and without dropping your elbow, you should feel like you are tipping your finger-tips over the front of a barrel (again flexing at the wrist) which will start the catch. At the same time start bending the elbow and pressing back on the water with the forearm in a near-vertical position.
  4. Pull through: Concentrate your efforts on simply pressing water back behind you with the palm of your hand still looking back behind you.

These tips have come straight from the Swim Smooth website. If you would like to read more, look at some pictures and watch some videos to help your understanding of ‘the catch and pull’ I recommend you take a look.

We will teach you drills this week to help develop your catch and pull. It would be useful if you have a pull buoy or fins to bring them along as we will use them during the drills.

Just a reminder that instead of the usual run session based at London Fields we will be doing a 5km time trial at Hackney Marshes. You must register with Park Run before 6pm Friday. The event is free so don’t be shy and join in! We must be ready to start at Hackney Marshes at 9am.

Just out of interest a study by O’Rourke et al (2008) found that caffeine ingestion significantly improved 5-km running performance in both well-trained and recreational runners. So grab yourself a coffee before we go! Ok so the performance gain was not huge but if you need an excuse to have a coffee Saturday morning I have just given you one.

See you on Saturday for a 7am start. Tim (LFTC Coach)