I’m going to go ahead and start out by saying I am not a good swimmer. It is my weakest discipline in triathlon and I plan to work very, very hard this winter to get it figured out. And I’ve spent a good amount of time in the pool lately trying to nail down a game plan and get myself situated for a long winter of training.
|This thing fought me hard on the underwater picture.|
This may be one of the things out of this pack I will get the most use out of. It’s made from a pretty tough 6″ EVA foam and hasn’t absorbed any water and dries quickly. This is meant to be placed between the legs which isolates you legs, meaning no kicking. This forces the swimmer to focus on stroke and technique, something I need to work on.
|Oh heyyyy legs. Could you look any paler and squishier under the water? Don’t worry self esteem, someday you’ll feel better.|
Using this pointed a few things out for me. One, I have very little upper body strength. I was lifting like three times a week all last winter and right up until the wedding. Then once I shifted to outside running, biking, and open water swimming, strength training went out the window. And it’s very obvious. I use my legs way too much in the water and when I used the pull float, I struggled. But this isn’t anything against the float, it’s all fingers pointed at me. However, this is good. My sad, weak little arms had to fight to drag me through the water once I had this between my legs. Once or twice I tried to kick and could barely manage. It makes it incredibly difficult to kick to the point where it slows you down that much more. So all arms with this, which I very much so need. It also works your core. And have I mentioned how bad I have been about strength training since May? I’m even worse about core strength workouts, so I definitely felt this in my mid section. It really made me have to maintain a more proper form when I would rotate to breath, which is a great thing since getting the breathing down correctly is such a huge component to a good swim.
So overall, two big thumbs up to the TYR Pull Float. I really think this will be a great one to use regularly. I need to shore up my technique and mechanics and I really feel like this will help me tighten those up.
Okay, first things first. Putting these together took way more brain power from me than I would ever like to admit. The directions for putting them together seemed simple, but there are so many holes and only one picture on the paper, so it took a lot of staring and more pulling the rubber cords through holes than I expected. And no matter how many times I tried or ways I tried I could not for the life of me get all the ends to come out the same sides of the paddles. This had to be the simplest and most difficult puzzle I have ever simultaneously encountered. But I’m sure more competent people than I figure them out just fine.
|Wrist strap ends sticking out the top side. Finger strap ends sticking out the bottom side. Fail.|
There was also multiple options for how to set up the finger straps. I went with option two because it felt most natural to me. I tend to swim with my fingers closed, so this was the closest option to that. Like we say at summer camp, spoons not forks, paws and not claws.
|See, strap ends coming out of both sides. I just couldn’t do it.|
I made sure I had these all set up at home so when I got to the pool I just had to pull them on. Especially because once those rubber straps are pulled through the holes there’s no moving them. They definitely stay put, which is good.
|I usually remember to take my rings off at home before I swim. Oops.|
Again, these work well as far as helping with stroke and technique, which I need. The design of these paddles is meant to help build strength, catch water more quickly, and allow for maximum water feel over that of more traditional paddles.
I noticed right away when I pushed off from the wall that I was forced to change my hand position on those first few moment underwater where you glide fully submerged. Without doing so I caught resistance and slowed down. I found these altered my stroke which makes me happy since it was to a more efficient form. They forced me to changed position of my hands just slightly, but the way my hands enter the water very differently. I never noticed how much I slapped the water instead of dipping my fingers down and I really appreciated this insight and stroke adjustment. Once I made the tweaks to form I noticed greater pull through the water and it felt really good.
Overall I give these a big thumbs up. Other than being somewhat confusing to put together (which is probably a me problem, not a paddle problem) they really did a great job of adjusting my form and creating a stronger stroke. And I think I really need to use these and the pull float together to make sure I can get my full body form and upper body strength nailed down.
Who doesn’t love flippers!? I love using these. They make me feel fast. These are multi purpose fins with mid length blades meant increase speed and tempo while creating resistance to build leg strength. They’re meant for race pace training, but I’m not quite there yet, so for me it’s about the leg strength and learning the keep my stroke pace steady while moving faster through the water.
|Why hello toes.|
Probably should have gone up a size. I wear a size 7-8, but I only ever wear an eight in boots with big socks or running shoes. Everything else I go down in size. I got the size small in these and should have ordered up, but oh well. I don’t mind my toes peaking out a bit more than they should. They still work just fine.
They also help to get your legs up and keep your body parallel to the pool floor. Body position is another key component to efficient swimming so I can appreciate this. I definitely felt like I was right on top of the surface of the water in these. And if you’re not conscious of your kicking you’ll get going too fast and your arms will struggle to keep up. Definitely important to kick with strength instead of frequency which teaches opium kick efficiency to provide the right kind to strength needed to hold race pace without overdoing your legs. See, there’s that important swim with your arms and preserve your legs thing again.
As for the Crossblade Fins? Thumbs up. Good training tool for learning opium kick power versus frequency. They aid in body position as well and that’s always a good thing. And they’re fun. Yup. Can’t forget that!
My general thoughts on the Complete Swim Training Package? Awesome! I would highly suggest it. And this may be coming from a pretty green swimmer, but but Hall of Fame swimmer Neil Brophy swims at my pool in the lane next to me in the mornings and he has the same TYR Mentor Hand Paddles and TYR Pull Float, so obviously they work well for seasoned and professional swimmers alike.
So again, I highly, highly suggest the Complete Swim Training Package. The items in it are good quality items designed to improve your swim performance on every aspect that goes into efficient swimming. All3sports.com has the Complete Swim Training Package HERE if you want to get one for yourself (you should!)
Also, don’t forget all3sports.com is offering 15% off purchases through the end of the year with coupon code TRIGC15, so spoil yourself! Or start Christmas shopping. But mostly spoil yourself.