This past week eleven swimmers along with Provincial Coach Vince Mikuska and Regional Coach Mike Flegel drove up to Whistler to have a “Dry” Camp. The idea was to try and focus on topics that we cover at normal camps, without the distraction of the water workouts.
The swimmers took part in a four session running clinic with the BC Triathalon Provincial Coach Alan Carlsson. Alan discussed a number of technical topics focusing on body position to improve efficiency and lessen the possibility of injury. Alan’s acronym is F-A-S-T, focus, arms, stability and timing.
You need to focus on your technique when you run. Arms are very important to help continue momentum and link the upper body with the legs. Stability is achieved by activating your core at all times just as you would while swimming. Sucking in your belly button slightly will activate your core muscles. Timing between arms and legs leads to efficiency.
Alan also talked about not over-striding so that you do not heel strike. You should land mid-foot, that is in the area just at the base of your big toe. If your heel strikes the ground first you will suffer the possibility of injury.
Alan placed a lot of emphasis on lifting the heels up as part of your stride. This leads to an almost immediate increase in speed.
Between the running sessions the swimmers rotated between Mental Performance workshops and Sport Readiness Assessments. The Mental Performance work was done by Alex Hodgins; a Performance Consultant who has been working with some of our swimmers. Alex discussed mental toughness based on focus, composure, motivation and self-belief. This is an important area where everyone needs to work to better prepare themselves for their highest levels of competition. Goal setting was next. Goals need to be Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Realistic and Time Sensitive. The importance of routine and habit in preparation was stressed. Here is a link to a book excerpt from the Power of Habit.
Sport Readiness is movement analysis done by Diana Rochon, formerly of Canadian Sport Pacific now working on her own and in conjunction with the National Coaching Institute. Swimmers were given various exercises and their ability to execute the exercise properly or not was noted. Diana then did an analysis and some exercises will be prescribed for individual swimmers. Two areas to note were a lot of tightness in the thoracic spine and an inability to squat properly. There is a link below to an article and video links on posture from Diana.
The swimmers also had a presentation by James Boose, Athletes Services Coordinator at CSC in Whistler. James talked about trying to balance life and sport as well as some of the upcoming challenges of university selection and life.
Gabe Lee, WDSC; Finn Page, IS; Sterling King, PGB; Nicolaas Dekker, Rapids; Maran Kokoszka, RAC; Haley Black, PGB; Danica Ludlow, PGB; Heather Lam, VPSC; Sarah Mabee-Hall, IS; Heidi Bradley, IS.