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Swimming on Dry Land

It’s been almost two weeks since local gyms closed. As a triathlete training for an Ironman this fall, pool closing before open water season is rough. I was just getting close to making progress too. Well, like in the Valley of the Dry Bones from Ezekiel, I am working on bringing life to my swim even without water.

I’m not a swim coach. I’m not a triathlon coach. I’m not even a really good swimmer. But I try hard and that’s why I keep trying even now. There are some good resources for those wanting dry land swim workouts, I am using those provided by my swim coach.

My setup: While band workouts can be done standing I am finding body position difficult, so I created a more “real” feeling setup. I have a bench that my grandfather made me several years ago. I add a woven blanked folder in quarters (hot dog style) on top to keep the edges from digging into my chest and legs. A set of swim cords (mine are homemade from tubing) is wrapped around something stable, I use my husband’s inversion table side supports. Then I lay on the bench on my belly, grab the cords, and get to work.

What to wear: I am not the gear up in a swimsuit, cap, and goggles unnecessarily type…I just wear shorts and a tank top. No socks…my feet got too hot. Hair up. Towel because I sweat like crazy. I am sorta tempted to try my new swim shortjohn that I got for Christmas, but I might save that for open water with a run after.

Strokes: I am doing freestyle, sculling, fly as regular strokes and then things like triceps pulls and Tarzans. In the pool I really only do freestyle and some sculling so you may want to do more.

Length: This isn’t going to be as long of a workout as a swim session. I swim 60-75 minutes most of the time when I’m in the pool. My band workout is like a half hour including rest and planks. It is basically the equivalent of some 50s with rest, some planks, repeat. And it feels like as much of a workout as a normal swim.

Focus: Swimming on dry land you are able to notice things like arm position and angle, understand body position, and maybe even think about kick. Timing is awkward, Especially not breathing. I’ll need to develop that over the coming weeks.

C’mon open water season! We can find a way to be safe in the water and appropriately physically distanced.

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