Feb. 14th Clinic Set


This weekend we will focus on kicking.  A lot of kicking.

I think that many triathletes race and train under the idea that kicking during their swim will tire out their legs too much for riding and running.  This leads them to swimming with a weak, two-beat kick (if at all) which at best helps maintain a horizontal body position.  More likely, however, this poor technique disrupts their stroke timing and body rotation and leads to a less efficient stroke. 

I have seen a wide array of opinions on the relative importance (and relative return) of investing training time on improving ones kick.  These range from, on the high end, two entire sessions per week (most likely for those swimming 5+ days per week) to maybe a few hundred meters per week on the low end.  My personal feeling is that swimmers with a weak or unbalanced stroke, and who are swimming three to four times per week (remember, focus your workouts on your limiters), should be spending at least 1/3rd of each practice doing kicking sets.  As ones stroke and kick improve, time spent on kicking alone can be reduced as long as attention is paid to maintaining a consistent (not necessarily hard) kick during all swim sets.

How ever much kick training one does, it cannot be argued that having a more prolific kick during freestyle will make for an overall faster swimmer.

This weekend we will again touch on ankle flexibility and leg strength while incorporating some kicking sets that will help build a powerful, 6-beat kick. Like developing power on the bike and durability on the run, building a powerful kick is dependent upon the amount of time that you spend working on it.

Here is this week's set:

  • 1min sit on heels

  • 200 warm up

  • 4x kick on wall (:30 hard, :15 rest)

  • 100 kick with board

  • 100 easy swim focus on tight kick

  • 4x100 kick on front/kick on back

  • 100 kick no board

  • 100 easy free focus on tight kick

  • 9x50 kick on side 12 beats, 6 beats, 3 beats

  • 100 kick on back

  • 100 easy swim focus on tight kick

  • 4x vertical kicking (:30 on, :15 off)

  • 100 cool down