The Dojo Blog

Exclusive training insights for our Dojo Members and Alumni

Interpreting Stroke Examples In Context

When we are viewing swimmers who are suppose to be examples for how we are to swim, we need to make sure we understand the context in which that person is swimming. Among the features that we may imitate, some features of the stroke might be suitable only for that...

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A Good Warm Up = A Better Swim

There is a basic training principle you need to keep in mind: The better your warm up, the better your swim will be - a practice, a race, or a long recreational cruise. It does not fail - when I am disciplined to swim gently and quietly for a certain number of...

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Fine Tune Your Synchronization

By the end of a series of live lessons in Level 1 I hope to have a chance to introduce you to the synchronization of the propulsive pieces of your stroke. Up to that point you have worked on shaping the individual sections of body position and movement patterns, and...

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BOLT Breathing Measurement

As I study The Oxygen Advantage book I will share some insights and exercises with you from it. From Chapter 2, some explanation of why you may be experiencing heavy breathing during what should be moderate exercise. When your breathing receptors have a strong...

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Emphasize The Exhale

To improve your capabilities and comfort with breathing, here are a few more encouragements and ideas for you... Make sure you emphasize the exhale in your non-breathing moments of the stroke. Contrary to instincts, this urgency and 'breathlessness' you feel while...

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Competition Between Skill Projects

I should address this concern I have heard from several lately when working on breathing skills... You start investing your practice time on breathing skills and you notice other skills (like kick, recovery, and catch) that still require your focus seem to degrade....

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Learning The 2 Beat Kick

Some of you have been drawn to develop your 2 Beat Kick lately. I would like to call your attention to some resources that may help you. First, if you are new to this kicking style called the 2 Beat Kick, then you may first want to view some of our stroke...

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Solutions For Breathing Easier

Let's continue the discussion on how to solve breathing problems...   Solution: Improve Technique Among those reading this post it may be readily understood how improving your body control and your breathing technique will make breathing easier - investing time and...

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Sources Of Breathing Problems

I want to start a conversation with you about breathing problems and their possible causes. Feeling 'out of breath' (when I don't think I should be) is one of the most common complaints I hear from swimmers and it has come up recently with some members in the Dojo. In...

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Longer Distance Test Swim Part 2

How far should you swim? I recommend a distance that will push your perceived (mental) endurance limits just a little. But not too far. Something you can do within the hour. Something between 500 and 2000 meters may be about right for many. Some of you are training to...

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Longer Distance Test Swim Part 1

I have challenged some of you about swimming longer distance already. And some of you are challenging yourself without my prompting. I encourage you to set up a longer test swim that you will do at least once a month, up to once a week, if you like. You'll find that...

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Practice Set: Staggered Tempo 1

Practice Set 3 rounds of 2x (2x 150) freestyle 30 seconds passive rest between repeats - or 8 deep nasal breaths Staggered tempo, descending (getting faster) Round 1: 2x 150 at tempo 0.96, 2x 150 at 0.87 Round 2: 2x 150 at 0.93, 2x 150 at 0.84 Round 3: 2x 150 at 0.90,...

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Practice Set: Tempo Gears 1

Practice Set 3 rounds of (3x 150) freestyle NO rest between repeats - use Gear 2 as active rest 30 seconds passive rest between rounds Alternate between Gear 2 and 'Gear 4 at Assigned Tempo' (out of a scale of 1 to 5 gears) On each round G4 tempo descends (gets...

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Practice Set: Mat’s Warm Up 1

Warm Up 1500 continuous, no rest Divide distance into mental intervals 300 Silent Swimming - as gentle as possible 300 Silent Swimming - pick up tempo slightly 6 rounds of (50 fist / 50 DPS* / 50 brisk tempo) New synchronization focal points on each round Round 1:...

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Variety As A Form Of Rest

Vary the intensity, physically and mentally. Vary the intensity over the year. Vary the intensity over the race season. Vary the intensity over the week. Vary the intensity during each practice. Keep in mind you have different systems in training: Metabolic system...

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Minimum Amount Of Practice Part 3

Rotate sport emphasis (if you have multiple sports to train for). Here is an idea multi-sport athletes might work with. Instead of always trying to give an equal 1/3 of your resources to each sport, you may emphasize one sport for a period of time while giving a...

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Minimum Amount Of Practice Part 2

Devote part of the pre-season to building a big base. Part of getting your body and mind ready for improvement in your achievement season each year is putting in the long and low-intensity distance that gradually stimulates the body tissues to build up and prepare for...

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Minimum Amount Of Practice Part 1

I want to bring up a complicated topic without delving into that complexity. There is so much that could be said about how to train enough on limited time, and there are a lot of experienced people out there on the topics we can draw from. Yet I would like to provide...

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Train In Your Imagination

Some time ago, in the book called Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain by Sharon Begley I read about this idea that is being put into practice in therapy and in some sports and arts training programs – to train for an action by simply imagining yourself doing it. I have...

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