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Very ofter readers ask me: “Chris, how about all the swimming gear? Do I need it?”
If you are trying to gear up for your next swimming sessions, here are some of the things you will need to get through it.
1. Freestyle Snorkel
The first thing you need to have is a freestyle snorkel. It allows you to focus on your stroke, your catch, getting your body roll, and it takes that need to breathe out of the equation to help with getting alignment and getting balance in the water.
It is an essential piece of gear.
The second thing you need to have are goggles. A full view mirrored goggles are perfect for Open Water Swimming standard swimming cap. It is the be-all-end-all in swimming.
3. Pool Buoy
It does a couple of things. First is, it allows you to be lazy, so do not become reliant on using this one. But what it does is it gets you in the habit of pulling your legs up to the water with minimal kicking.
What it tries to do is for you to remember that feeling and get your core engaged and get used to pulling your legs up to the water without having to kick so hard.
The next thing is a band; it is a deadly use to a set. But what it is good for is it take your legs completely out of the equation. Why do you want to do that is because you want your legs used to floating up to the top of the water.
It is like steroids; you have no choice but to engage your core and learn how to get your legs up to the water. This the single best swim tool as far as improving your stroke.
5. Wetsuit Shorts
This one is a favorite, a wetsuit shorts. These are nice because it stimulates a pull buoy if you are worried about becoming reliant to it and not kicking and losing any momentum that you got from your kick.
You may want that sensation of the lift that comes from the pool buoy, but these shorts do the same thing. But, do not become over-reliant on this as well as it will only make you slower if you get used to that buoyancy coming not from your own body but from the tools and toys that you are using.
6. Freestyle Hand Paddles
Another thing is a Finis freestyle hand paddles. These are not typical paddles for several reasons. The first thing is the shape. It has a big scoop because they want you to work on your catch. These paddles are exclusively for the catch.
Two things to remember while using the paddles:
a. Is that fin that comes underneath it make your hand go straight as it enters the water and it is going to keep you in a straight line as you do a full pull.
b. The scoop encourages you to start your swim stroke with a proper catch.
7. Paddle Sets
Another one is the standard paddle sets. These sets are not hard on your shoulders.
They do not offer a lot of drag, so you are not going to build a lot of strength using these. But the beautiful thing about this is that you are not going to tear apart your shoulders.
8. Contour paddles
These paddles may tear your shoulders apart if you are not technically inclined with swimming. But if you got a good swim stroke and you want to build up that strength in your whole body, you can use this to scoop in a ton of water while working on that pull; it increases the resistance.
A lot of pro triathletes will use this. It comes in various measurements to fit your hand.
The purpose of fins is not to build a lot of strength and speed, but to give yourself a little bit of a pop. The fins are long, but it is recommended to chop it down nice and short giving you a little bit of propulsion but not as much as messing around with your swim stroke.
10. Finis Tempo Trainer
Finis Tempo Trainer. It is a little metronome that you put on the inside or outside of your cap or your swim goggles, and you can set it to beep every time you want to take a stroke. You can hurry it up or slow it down which gets you in the habit of getting a nice rhythmic stroke where you are consistent.
At the end of the swim, when you start getting tired, it forces you to keep that same rhythmic pace. You are going to end up a lot faster, thrashing a lot less.
11. Mesh bag
It is recommended to have a mesh pool bag whether you are putting it in your locker, your car, under your desk, or anywhere. You don’t want all that wet stuff to get sit and moldy. So, stuff everything in a nice mesh bag and keep it dry.
12. The Bag
Lastly, the bag. A customised swim bag is perfect for swimmers like you. It has a lot of things in there. It has mesh pockets on the side, where you can stuff items such as your cap or goggles to dry in there. A bottom mesh bag for your wet clothes.
It also has a loop where you can fill in your towels and a room where you can put your dry stuff such as camera or laptops. It has everything that you need without worrying about it degrading by getting molding.