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tomtopo
February 16th, 2008, 02:06 PM
I think timing everything you do and documenting them or remembering them is a vital tool for improving (not at every practice but consistently).

Allen Stark
February 16th, 2008, 02:54 PM
For me the most important "drill" is counting my strokes and timing my intervals.If my speed goes up and my SPL doesn't(or my SPL goes down and my time stays the same) I know I'm doing something right.I have about 20 different breaststroke drills I do early in the season to focus on different aspects of the stroke.As the season progresses I do drills if I think something needs work or doesn't feel right.I do a fair amount of fist swimming in warmup to work on feel for the water(and EVF.) I also do dog paddle with snorkle in warmup to work on EVF.

Ripple
February 17th, 2008, 04:02 PM
I get the most "bang for the buck" from doing balance drills. If I do them at the very start of the swim, my stroke count is lower and I feel smoother. If there isn't time to do them, it takes longer to feel warmed up and the first 400 meters or so feels clumsier.

Chris Stevenson
February 17th, 2008, 08:39 PM
Favorite drills are, by stroke

-- Fly: 3-4 kicks per pull. Good for working on timing and getting the feel for the stroke and the catch (EVF, if you would rather); not as tiring as regular fly
-- Back: what I call "shotgun" backstroke. Swim with an exagerrated shoulder roll and a pause with the arm pointing straight up and reaching high, sighting up your arm like the barrel of a shotgun.
-- Breast: :rofl:
-- Free: catch-up free, working on roll and catch

Favorite things to do:
-- stretching. Of all kinds, all the time. Before warmup, during warmup, between sets, before races...you get the idea. Besides activating my muscles, it also relaxes and focuses the mind.
-- hypoxic sets to work on stroke efficiency and underwater SDK at the end of races.
-- This year: Pilates and adding more intense core exercises to my weight lifting. This has definitely improved by SDK and I think it has also helped my swimming. Plus it is kind of fun, and good for general health/fitness. (I was originally motivated by a desire to avoid future back problems, such as those my dad has gone through.)

Not a big fan of equipment.
-- I'll use paddles & pull buoy more during taper after I've stopped lifting. Good for feel/catch and to maintain strength.
-- I'll use a snorkel some, maybe once a week -- I can definitely see the point (balance, hypoxic work, integrating legs & arms) but I don't really like it all that much yet, and sometimes I get panicked when oxygen runs low.
-- I never use fins: I don't honestly see the point and, anyway, they hurt my knees and ankles.

Blackbeard's Peg
February 18th, 2008, 03:06 AM
I'm a big fan of fist drill freestyle.
Also, LCM freestyles w/ a snorkel really helps me with head position and arm catch/sculling