Additional Swim Questions from February 2021 Office Hours February 07, 2021 05:42 Updated Follow Not a Member yet? $25/month Get Purple Patch Education Membership, A complete performance education program for coaches and athletes. SUBSCRIBE You need to sign in to view this page. Not every question got answered in our February 2021 swim-focused Office Hours. But we didn't want to leave you high and dry - so here's the follow-up: Are pull-ups at all useful for building swim specific strength? Is it worth it to have a pull-up goal/workout in order to mix up the bands? Yes, pull-ups are a good form of swim specific strength training You don't need to create a specific pull-up workout or goal but rather integrate them into the swim band sessions you are currently doing Is there value in adding some extra swim band sessions in addition to swim workouts even for those that DO have full pool or OWS access? Even if you have access to a pool or OW there is huge value in adding swim bands to your regular routine In this scenario, swim bands don't need to take the place of a swim session but can be used as a warm up for a swim or as an additional shorter session during the week Swim bands allow you to focus on swim specific strength and also allow you to more easily focus on specific aspects of technique Are you able to guess form issues using niggles or areas of soreness after swimming? Sometimes yes but there is usually more than one aspect of poor technique that could be causing pain in your shoulder, elbow, neck, etc. If you are experiencing pain and you suspect it is from your stroke, the best thing to do would be to have someone look at your stroke (video analysis) What about the importance of the first half of the pull versus the second half? I've always seen that the key is from the hip back but it seems that the whoosh is what's key. The first part of the pull, or the catch is certainly important because it sets up the rest of the pull. If you are dropping your elbow, crossing over, or starting outside your shoulder, you will lose efficiency with the rest of your pull and not hold as much water The last part of your pull, or the finish, is also important as you want to ensure you are finishing all the way through the stroke with a straight arm, this also plays into timing and connection, flex the tricep to flick the hand through the finish, past the hip, into the recovery The middle part of the pull, or the "whoosh" is, you guessed it, also important. This is where we are accelerating the hand through the water and moving the water we grabbed with the catch, this is where the forward acceleration is happening. It is also here that you want to make sure you're not slipping or losing hold on the water Don't prioritize one portion of the stroke over another, they all serve an important purpose. However, it can be a bit daunting, and flustering, to try and focus on all those aspects at once. Instead try to pick one part of the pull to work on at a time How much swimming do we need to do to attain the required muscular endurance? I know it depends on the goal, but for PPF athlete who is training for a 70.3 or a 140.6, what would you like to see? Consistency is the key here, not just volume Ideally you are able to do 2-3 swim sessions per week for 45-60 min. This will differ depending on specific goals Swim bands are a great tool to add to the mix for swim specific muscular endurance and strength Breathing - does it matter how frequently (e.g. how many strokes between breaths), whether you use the same pattern all the time, etc? Following a breathing pattern helps establish rhythm The key is being comfortable breathing to both sides. Not simply being able to breathe every 3rd stroke but rather being able to breathe every 2nd stroke (to the same side) but on both sides. In open water swimming, conditions may force you to only breathe to one side and you don't know what side that may be. So get comfortable only breathing to the right and get comfortable only breathing to the left Related articles Office Hours - All Things Swim with Matt Dixon and Coach John Stevens (57:38) Swim Band Technique Tips EXPERT Office Hours - Scott Tindal of - September 3, 2020 (Running Time 57:55) Live and Video On Demand Bike Guide Join a Live, Coached Bike Class with Matt Dixon!