In continuation of last week’s brilliant Three Tips for Perfect Pool to Open Water Confidence by former pro Donna Phelan, we get together with Kelly Fillnow for a bit of workout specificity. The Kona-bound pro and head of Fillnow Coaching sharpens her race-day swim with specific workouts ahead of a race.
But what kind of specificity? We asked, and she gave us three key workouts she does in-pool to get ready for the dynamics of race day open water swimming. From head-up sighting drills to “go-out-hard-at-the-gun” high heart rate efforts, these are all done with race day at the lake, out in the ocean or in the river in mind. If you’re not familiar with some of the drill terms (things like the Tarzan Drill, etc.), they can be found easily online.
“These are all open water-specific workouts,” Fillnow says. “I feel like a lot of athletes don't practice open water skills and then they get to open water and panic, but it can definitely be worked on in the pool!”
"I like to do this workout to practice drafting, getting comfortable staying on feet," Fillnow says, "and also preparing for two-loop courses with the deck-ups!"
One workout I like to do in a training cycle is getting started right at race pace with no warm-up," she says. "A lot of races don’t allow in-water warm-ups, so practicing starting at race pace helps the body prepare for the specifics of race day."
"I like to do this set to prepare my body for the hard race take-out effort," she says, "straight into settling into race pace. (And I recommend this one with a warm-up!)
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