Swim Lingo

So I am by no means a swim pro but here are a few definitions to help my non-swimming friends understand what the heck I am talking about :)

When I swim everything is usually done in intervals. You don't usually just hop in the pool and swim for an hour. You break it up a bit.

As an example I will use today's workout and highlight odd terms with my laymens definitions :) Warmup: 3*400 (300 Free
"Freestyle is the primary stroke you use in tri also known as crawl

100 IM "medley, fly, back, breast, and free strokes")

(Yes I even did fly! "If you watched the summer olympics 2004 fly is the stroke that Phelps made look so easy"

9*50 at 0:55 to 1:00 send off "A send off just means that instead of giving yourself a set amount of rest between repeats you have to do the repeats starting on the send off. So regardless if I swim my 50 in 30 or 60 seconds, I have to start the next one at 60 seconds"

(We thought that we were only doing 3*500 so we started set 1 too early, oops)
16* 50 at 1:00 send off (60,70,80,90%"We split the 16 50s into groups of 4 so for each set of 4 we did them at 60,70,80,90% effort respectively")

800 free (I was supposed to do 12*75 on 1:15 send off but I tried to throw pull in on the first one, was going to do 2 pull, 2 stroke, 3 times, but apparently my kick is my stroke so I ended up playing catch up with no rest, so yeah, just 800 yards swim) "The whole send off workout can throw you for a loop if you aren't fast enough. Pull is where you place a buoy between your legs and just swim using your upper body, no kick. Because I have a strong kick, my pull was not fast enough to get in 75 under 1:15 so I wasn't able to get any rest during this whole set"

8*100 at 2:00 send off (I think I was pretty consistently swimming these in 1:40-1:45, plenty of rest, but I was too tired to try 1:50 send off.) Cool Down: 100 Easy Total: 4150 yards "The peak indoor pool is a 25 yard pool. The outdoor pool is meters. Meters is longer so you have to adjust your send offs accordingly"

that's right kids pretty much 2.4 miles."2.4 miles is the distance in the Ironman Triathlon, lets just say I would have been in trouble if I had to bike and run after the workout this morning ;)"

In the future I will probably be posting drills in my workouts.

Drills: little changes made to stroke done at small intervals to make your stroke better while swimming regularly.

My workouts regularly include: catch up drill, slow arm recovery, fingertip drill, kick drills, head down drill, sculling drills...so a lot of them ;)

Catch up is where you let both of your hands touch at the end of the stroke briefly. Basically a kick drill that helps you focus on gliding.

slow arm recovery is tough to explain, basically as you are swimming and pull your arm out of the water, instead of doing this quickly you pull your arm out slow, forcing yourself to stay in that rolled position for longer.

fingertip is where you drag the tips of your finger across the water during your stroke, promoting high elbows.

kick drills are just like they sound. Swimming with no arms! Sometimes I use a board, sometimes I don't.

Head down drill is where instead of letting the water hit your forehead you look at the bottom of the pool. This helps with keeping your legs up.

sculling drills are to help you get a feel of the water...no clue how to explain those :)
perhaps this is a better explanation:
"Swimmers who are good at sculling are always pressing against the water with their hands, and they change their hand positions frequently to maintain a good "grip" on the water."

Hope this helped a wee bit. From now on I will try to better explain my workouts :)


Cliff said...


Is it like where you wave your hand back and fourth in the water to keep yourself afloat?

You slice the water with your hand to get the feel of the water.

jeff said...

what a great explanation! now i've got some fun things to try when i hop back in the pool.

E-Speed said...

cliff-yeah basically keeping a "grip" on the water as opposed to slicing through it.

glad it helped jeff!

The Spandex-King said...

Damn Kids!!! I avoid young people. They make me feel old!!! Happy New Year to You!!

BuckeyeRunner said...

Hey! NICE job on the swim the other day! And good job explaining all the lingo!
Have a great New Year!!

Tammy said...

Ok, I must be dense. I appreciate the effort, but I was more confused by the explanations than I was before. LOL! It'll come...

Happy New Year! :)