Swim Session 05/06/2015

just keep

So I’ve had a busy few weeks with Exams and then I headed to Copenhagen to watch Regionals. Check out this week’s swim session below. Spread the word! With the CrossFit Games coming up & summer competitions swimming could be important to athlete performance.

Beginner

Warm Up

Beginner – Tabata (4RDs – 2mins) Breathing Drill @ Wall https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Z7SzDIG9yI

Tips: You should think ‘blowing bubbles’ breathing out thru your mouth and not your nose. Also – look to the wall on rotation, one goggle in the water, one goggle out of the water. You should not see the ceiling. Try to carry this over into your swimming throughout the session.

100m (Beginner)/150m (Intermediate) /200m (Advanced) as 25m Front Crawl/ 25m kick on your back. 

Technique/Skill

2 Sets of: (do all 3 sets then repeat)

4 x 25m Finger trail/drag (RI 20sec)

4 x 25m – Swim Smooth focus on breathing

4 x 25m frontcrawl kick with board  (RI 20sec)

WOD

6 x 25m – 70% effort RI 15sec (Keep a long smooth stroke and remember your breathing from today, don’t get sloppy)

Cool Down/Practice

Push & Glide – Introducing that streamline position https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2jy9zgR1uU0

See how far you can get with your push and glide, no kicking allowed 

rx swimming

Intermediate/Advanced

Warm Up

Intermediate/Advanced. Today’s focus is streamline and turns. Check out the post at the bottom of the page. I want you to focus on the streamline position off every start and turn, whether you do a swivel turn or tumble turn.

100m (Beginner)/150m (Intermediate) /200m (Advanced) as 25m Front Crawl/ 25m kick on your back. 

Technique/Skill

1 Set as:

4 x 50m Finger trail/drag (RI 20sec)

4 x 25m – Swim Smooth focus on breathing

4 x 25m Frontcrawl kick on side (alternate each 25m) (RI 20sec)

Tip: this is also helpful for building core strength! Do not worry about switching every 6 kicks as in the video, we will progress to this 

4 x 50m – As 25m Thumb to Thigh/25m Swim Smooth

Tip: On Thumb to Thigh Brush your thumb along your thigh as you finish your arm stroke.

WOD

4 x 25 – 70% effort (RI 15sec)

1 x 50m – 80% effort (RI 20sec)

4 x 25m – 70% effort (RI 15sec)

Tips: Focus on keeping a long smooth stroke. I want you to also focus on a good streamline position at each push off, so the start on the 25s and the start and turn on the 50. Keep your arms tight to your ears and stay long and tall, with one hand on top of the other. Watch the two videos below and check out the post on the importance of steamline.

https://www.facebook.com/rxswimming/posts/682627888550181:0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J4DlGtLL-xI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k-3MeZKNbcc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2jy9zgR1uU0 – streamline position

Posted in Sport

12/05/2015 – RX Swimming & Active Recovery Sessions

rx swimming

Check us out at https://www.facebook.com/rxswimming?fref=ts

Beginner

Warm Up

100m (Beginner)/150m (Intermediate) /200m (Advanced) as 25m Front Crawl/ 25m kick on your back.

**Turn Practice – If you are a beginner maybe try practicing the swivel turn for a more efficient turn!**

 

Technique/Skill

2 Sets of: (do all 3 sets then repeat)

4 x 25m frontcrawl kick with board  (RI 20sec)

4 x 25m Finger trail/drag (RI 20sec)

4 x 25m – Swim Smooth focus on breathing –

WOD

6 x 25m – 80% effort RI 10sec (Keep a long smooth stroke!)

Rest 1min

4 x 50m – 80% effort RI 20sec (Keep a long smooth stroke and try to keep the stroke count within 2 for each 25m – i.e if you take 15 strokes on length 1 then no more than 17 on length 2)

Cool Down/Practice

4×10 seconds Star Float.

Think Starfish here. Begin face down in the water. The aim is keep your entire body floating on the surface, from your toes to your head- which remains in line with your body- and out to your fingers.

100m EASY on back – relax!

Intermediate & Advanced (Interediate feel free to add 5-10sec rest if needed but ONLY IF NEEDED and losing quality)

Warm Up

100m (Beginner)/150m (Intermediate) /200m (Advanced) as 25m Front Crawl/ 25m kick on your back.

**Turn Practice – If you are a beginner maybe try practicing the swivel turn for a more efficient turn!**

**Turn Practice – Intermediate -> Advanced. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8yjfsaWj7G4 Practice this but be careful of others in your lane!

 

Technique/Skill

2 Sets of: (do all 3 sets then repeat)

4 x 50m frontcrawl kick with board  (RI 20sec)

4 x 50m (As 1 length Finger trail/drag / 1 length smooth) (RI 15sec)

4 x 25m – Pull – with your arms, and either try not to kick at all, or kick as little as possible- just enough to keep your legs from sinking- again, focus on engaging the core here to help. If you can access a pull bouy (http://www.swimshop.co.uk/win-pullbuoy-solid-senior-blue-white) at your local pool or fancy buying one then it can be helpful.  (RI 10sec)

WOD

6 x 25m – 80% effort RI 10sec (Keep a long smooth stroke!)

Rest 1min

4 x 50m – 80% effort RI 10sec (Keep a long smooth stroke and try to keep the stroke count within 2 for each 25m – i.e if you take 15 strokes on length 1 then no more than 17 on length 2)

Rest 1min

1 x 100m – 70% effort, try to keep your stroke count the same for each length.

Cool Down/Practice

4×10 seconds Vertical Kick (Some fun & core work. If you find this difficult start with your hands by your side).

100m EASY on back – relax!

Posted in Sport

Guest Swim Session – Steven McQuillan & Some Big News

Hey Guys, my good frirend Steven McQuillan will be taking this week’s sessions. We have some exciting news at the end of the blog, regarding Swimming Courses! There are 3 sessions below, Beginner, Intermediate & Advanced. Enjoy!!

Session: Thursday 30th April 2015

Beginner

beginner

Warm Up: 100m (Beginner)/150m (Intermediate) /200m (Advanced) as 25m Front Crawl/ 25m kick on your back.

Try to hold a streamlined position with the pelvis tucked forward and up.

Skill Set:

Beginner: 8x25m Front Crawl Kick with kick board.

Hold the board with your arms fully extended and keep your face down, looking straight down at the bottom of the pool- keeping the head in line with the body- think press up or plank head position. Focus on kicking from the hips- remember, everything we do is about core to extremity! Keep the legs straight, with your toes pointed. And try to relax your ankles to develop a nice ‘whip’ in your kick. Rest 20 seconds between lengths.

Strength/ Power Set: Beginner: 4×10 seconds Star Float.

Think Starfish here. Begin face down in the water. The aim is keep your entire body floating on the surface, from your toes to your head- which remains in line with your body- and out to your fingers. This may seem silly in a Strength/ Power section, but it is vital, so bear with me.

4×5 seconds Pencil Float.

Think a long, straight stick, with a pointy end… Begin face down, with your legs pressed tight side by side, and your toes pointed. Head in line with your body. Arms are extended in front of you, hands overlapped. Reach for the far end of the pool with your finger tips and squeeze your head between your biceps. In order to stay afloat in these positions, you need to really engage the core- pull the belly button in to the spine, and engage your lower back and glutes to pull your legs to the surface. This may seem like an odd drill for a Strength/ Power section, I know, but all the strength and power in the world won’t help you swim if you can’t stay on the surface, in a position which will allow you to put some strength/ power into your stroke, so work on the basics here!

WOD:

Beginner: 2x 3x25m.

Hold a 1:1 work: rest ration throughout- so if you swim 25m in 45 seconds, go every 90 seconds. The aim is to hold a reasonable pace for each length. Count your stroke on the first length and try to hold the same, or less for every other length. Efficiency is key, as with everything else we do in Crossfit- so the fewer strokes we take to move the same distance, the more efficient we become. Take 2 minutes rest between sets. Remember, this is primarily a recover/ technique session, so you shouldn’t be too tired here

Intermediate

just keep

Warm Up: 100m (Beginner)/150m (Intermediate) /200m (Advanced) as 25m Front Crawl/ 25m kick on your back.

Try to hold a streamlined position with the pelvis tucked forward and up.

Skill Set:

Intermediate: 8x25m Kick

Lying on your side, hold your lower arm straight out in front, pointing to the far end of the pool, your other arm should be tight against your side, with your shoulder pointing straight up towards the ceiling. Relax, work on floating on the surface while you hold a strong, steady alternate leg kick. Focus on kicking from the hips- remember, everything we do is about core to extremity! Keep the legs straight, with your toes pointed. Try to keep your face down, looking straight down at the bottom of the pool- keeping the head in line with the body- think press up or plank head position. Turn your head to breathe. Alternate the side you kick on every length, and take approx. 20-30 seconds rest between lengths.

Strength/ Power Set:

Intermediate: 8x25m. Pull with your arms, and either try not to kick at all, or kick as little as possible- just enough to keep your legs from sinking- again, focus on engaging the core here to help.

This obviously places the emphasis on your arms, which provide the vast majority of our forward propulsion in front crawl. As Crossfitters, our core should be strong enough to keep our legs afloat- provided we are comfortable enough in the water to be efficient at floating, and working on this will help a lot. The more energy we can save via efficient floating, the more we can put into propelling ourselves forward.

Rest 20-30 seconds between lengths

WOD:

Intermediate: 2x 4×50.

As above hold the same 1:1 ratio of work: rest. So if you swim the 50m in 1 minute 15 seconds, go every 2 minutes 30. As above, count your strokes and make sure every swim is the same, or less than your first swim in terms of stroke count. Rest 2 minutes between sets.

 

Advanced

Warm Up: 100m (Beginner)/150m (Intermediate) /200m (Advanced) as 25m Front Crawl/ 25m kick on your back.

Try to hold a streamlined position with the pelvis tucked forward and up.

Advanced: 8x25m Kick.

Holding your arms tight against your side, begin on your front and kick. This drill requires a stronger kick than the beginner kick set. Again, work on kicking from the hip, keeping the legs straight with the toes pointed. In order to breathe, rotate your entire body, not your head, and roll onto your right side to breathe, than slowly roll over to your left side to breathe. Stay on your front and side, do not roll onto your back. This will help develop both your kick, and your breathing efficiency. Rest 30 seconds between lengths.

Strength/ Power Set:

Advanced: 4x50m Pull.

Either do not kick at all, and use your core to keep your legs afloat, or take it one step further, and cross your legs, really forcing you to work the arms. Rest 30-45 seconds between 50’s

WOD:

Advanced: 10x50m Front Crawl.

Work on a 1:1 Work: Rest Ratio- so for example, swim 50’s every minute if you can hold the swims on approx. 30 seconds. As above, keep your stroke count the same for every swim. Rest 2 Minutes

4x50m Front Crawl.

This time take 15 seconds more rest per swim– so if you went of 1 minute in the first set of 10, go off 1 minute 15 this time, etc etc. In this set, we want to increase the pace every swim. So start off steady, then get faster for each swim, until the last one is about 90-95% effort. We are looking for a stroke index here: So count your strokes for each 50m and add it to your time in seconds- so for example, 12 strokes for 50m added to a time of 33 seconds would give a stroke index of 45 for the first 50m. The aim is then to get an index of 45 or lower for the remaining swims. As you get progressively faster with every swim, your stroke count will eventually rise as a result. So, increasing our pace over the 4 swims, by the final swim, if we swam 28 seconds for the 50m we would expect to take 17 strokes or less equal or beat an index of 45.

Difficulty

swim help

A lot of this may seem complicated, or some of the advanced work may seem to be very difficult, however some of our Irish Crossfitters are more than capable of this, and as with everything else in Crossfit, we should programme for such athletes. The popularity of Swimming within Crossfit is increasing, with regular appearances in The Games, worldwide Competitive Programmes such as the Invictus Programme, within the Mainsite WODs, and even within the better organised local Competitions. Understandably, however, this is an area of Crossfit which many Athletes struggle with, however, it something we should all try to work on where possible. The Top Athletes within the Crossfit Community address their swimming throughout the season, and more specifically in the run up to The Games, however, for the most part, it is an element of Competitive Crossfit which is often overlooked by many of us.

Weekly Sessions – Time to Improve

This no longer needs to be the case. Myself & Steven will be teaming up to deliver weekly swim sessions. There will be sessions available through the blog every Thursday. We will be starting weekly swim sessions available for all to attend in Belfast and Dublin.

Conor 

conorch1

Conor Hillick will be offering a weekly Swim Programme in Dublin. Conor has been swimming for many years, is an ex Irish National Swimming Champion with UCD Swim Team. Conor was also an international Modern Pentathlete and represented Ireleand Internationally at European and World Level. Conor is a level 2 Swim Ireland Coach and has worked with International World & European level Pentathletes and National level swimmers. Conor is a coach at CrossFit Perpetua Dublin. Information on the Dublin courses will be released early May, for further information contact Conor.

Steven

steve steve`1

Steven McQuillan, Owner and Head Coach of Crossfit Castrum is offering a weekly Swim Programmme in Belfast, designed to improve your power, strength, technique, and, most importantly, efficiency in the water. Sessions are designed for and delivered by Crossfitters. Steven is an ex-International Swimmer and Irish Record Holder, having competed at European and World Level. He is also a Level 3 Senior Swim Ireland Coach, having Coached swimmers to Commonwealth Games, European, and World Level. Courses will run over 4 weeks, with 1 session per week (1.5 Hours per session). We are offering an introductory price of £25 per person. Courses are limited to 12 people. Please contact Steven McQuillan for information and Course dates.

Posted in Sport

Swimming Sessions For Crossfit/Active recovery 20/04/2015

ch swim

Swimming appears every year in the CrossFit Games in some shape or form. Given this CrossFit athletes are swimming more not only for the Games but also for recovery. I will release swim sessions on a weekly basis that can be used as  active recovery sessions and can be adapted for harder sessions depending on your level.

Weekly swim sessions will be posted as a blog. You can check out videos of techniques and drills here 

20/04/2015

Warm Up

100m Frontcrawl

**Turn Practice – If you are a beginner maybe try practicing the swivel turn for a more efficient turn!**

Technique

2 Sets of: (do all 3 sets then repeat)

4 x 25m Finger trail/drag (RI 20sec)

2 x 50m – 25m closed fist/25m smooth stroke (The fist closed drill will help you with your catch and to get a feel for the water)

4 x 25m frontcrawl kick with board  (RI 20sec)

Test Set 

6 x 25m – Max Effort RI 30-60sec note times (more advanced swimmers take less rest)

2 x 25m EASY on your back – relax and breathe!

2 x 50m – Max Effort RI 30 – 60sec note times (more advanced swimmers take less rest)

100m EASY on back – relax!

 

Swimming is very individual based on ability if you have any questions email me at conor@crossfitperpetua.com

Posted in Sport

The Beginnings

This past week I’ve been writing a blog about the month of January and how I have had many mental ups and downs. I do intend to post that blog, but earlier today I came across an old writing that I never published. On Saturday I begin my 2014 season in Budapest, the same place where my 2013 season and Senior competition started.

The piece I came across earlier today was from my time at my first ever Pentathlon, Junior World Championships in September 2012. As I start my second season in the Senior Circuit, and to be honest, my second season in Pentathlon I think there is no better time to publish my first ever Pentathlon experience than now.

I hope you enjoy it, and my next blog will be up soon, hopefully just before Hungary with another to follow after.
P.S I’m back from the wilderness :)

My First Pentathlon Experience (September 2012)

One year ago I had never held a pistol or èpèe, now I was in Drzonkòw, Poland representing my country in Modern Pentathlon! We arrived in Poland on Monday settled in to our room and went for dinner. Unfortunately, dinner was more like lunch and lunch was more like dinner, so after a day of travel we were treated to some ham and cheese sandwiches! (At least I think it was ham).

After dinner we received some disappointing news, there were more entries than expected for the men’s relay and there were not enough horses to accommodate all teams. With 18 teams accepted we were first reserve, although two of the teams had yet to receive their luggage with 12 hours left until the competition began, so we still had some hope that we would compete! It was tough to maintain the belief that we would be competing whilst knowing that when we wake up in the morning we could be let down. We set off back to the room to get everything ready, for me that involved shaving down! Coming from a swimming background this shouldn’t be a problem, get it over with quickly, and be finished in 20 minutes. It didn’t turn out that way! Arthur, who was travelling out the following day, had the razors we bought in his bag. So, I borrowed a BIC disposable from Tom, one disposable razor for my whole body. The next half hour involved a lot of shouting and a few curses from the bathroom, with Tom replying, “Is everything alright?”, I replied yes but by the end of it I had more than a few cuts on my legs with tissue patched all over them to stop the bleeding. Good start so far, Conor!

The next morning we didn’t get in to the relay as all of the teams had received their luggage. We had a good day of training, a short swim, run and shoot, then relaxed and watched the men’s relay competition. Wednesday we had a light session ad relaxed.

Semi Finals

Thursday, the Men’s qualifying had finally arrived!! It was an early start as I was in group A with Conor Ledingham. We started with fencing and 7.30am warm up. I was excited! But also a little worried about whether I’d get a hit or not! Luckily I got a hit in my first bout and Conor followed me with a hit in his next bout, now we could relax and enjoy it! The fencing was a lot of fun, I went in to it with no expectations and thoroughly enjoyed every bout, win or lose. At the end of the fence I was a little disappointed not to have a got a few more hits but it was a good start and gave me plenty of motivation for the swim.

Although swimming is my background, I knew the 200 free was going to be tough! It had been about 5 years since my last 200 free so I was going to be a bit rusty! I started well I the first 100 but my second 100 was 10 seconds slower, which left me a long way off my PB! It was a really disappointing swim for me but I also had a few positives to take from it.

Next, the combined! I had so many thoughts going through my head, the main one was trying to be positive about the shoot, I was really hoping not to time out. My first shoot started poorly but I was determined not to time out and I finally got 5 lights, and was on my way! My second shoot was faster, my third and final shoot I completed in 29 seconds! If only my other two could have been a bit more like that. The support around the combined was incredible, fans along the side including my teammates were pushing me on and it made it a little bit easier, but it was still very hard!!

Finals & Arthur

That was it my first pentathlon, finished in a matter of hours. The following day was the women’s final, we got up early and watched the fencing and the rest of the events until it was time for Tom and I to get our lift to the airport. We wished we were able to stay until the following night to see Arthur compete in the final, we knew he could do really well. It would have been great to be there and see Arthur get his, and Ireland’s, first international medal in Modern Pentathlon as he placed third in the men’s event!

Unbelievable! I followed it all day on the internet and was delighted for him.
Overall I had a great experience at Junior Worlds. I learnt a lot from my first pentathlon and from all of the other competitors. I may have taken a bit of a beating but I have a lot of positives to take from the competition and I am happy with how it went. I can’t wait now to train hard and to keep improving.

Looking back

Looking back on this, it’s amazing for me to see how far I have come and how much I can continue to improve. I’m excited for how much I can build upon in 2014 and the levels I hope to reach in the future. My next blog will be on mentality and ups and downs as it has played a huge role in my January training.

Talk soon,

Conor

Posted in Sport

Seasons end

So I’ve been back from Poland for a while now but I’ve been very busy and just never really got around to posting my blog. I had a great time in Poland, 10 days packed with hard training, fun and slightly different food! We were in Dzronkow, a place for athletes to train and people to visit to have fun by the pool. The centre has everything for a modern Pentathlete; training facilities for fencing; a large outdoor horse riding arena; 2 shooting ranges (indoor & outdoor); 50m swimming pool, as well as an outdoor family fun pool; lots of land and forest for running; and for most of the week sun (unfortunately not on our last 2 days when we had finished training!).

The training
There was something about this training camp, we would train 3-4 times a day, probably 5 if you include all of the prehab S&C exercises, this is my foam rolling and exercises to prevent injury. That’s a lot of training and sessions were tough, I had some tough swimming and running sessions as I wasn’t tapering like a few of the others, more on why that was later. The funny thing is though it felt a lot easier than training does at home, you have another energy level compared with back home, you recovery quicker and feel fresher but its also the fact that sessions can be done pretty much whenever you want. For example, we were able to fence at 10 in the morning til about 11.45 and be in the pool at 12.15, this is much easier than a rushed swim session back home from 7-8pm followed by fencing 8.15-10pm, it makes life and training a lot easier.

20130801-111107.jpg
Junior squad with Woman’s Olympic champion Laura Asadauskaite

Some of the fencing sessions were very intense but so much fun! We had 10 of the junior athletes on the camp, and it was a great experience for them fencing with some of the Polish youths, and even just fencing within their own group and with us, to be able to train regularly and make great improvements! We got to fence with the senior Lithuanian and Ukrainian athletes, it was another level and I absolutely loved it! My fencing improved tenfold fencing them for a week, I took myself by surprise a few times with some of the hits I would get, my overall technique went up a few levels and I made sure to fence everyone I could, including the women which included the Olympic champion. I have to apologise to my teammates though for my smelly fencing gear, definitely not the worst gear in the team, but it was fairly bad and I even used some shampoo to try and improve it with a hand wash midway through camp!

20130801-111304.jpg
The whole team minus Kate! Largest Irish squad on a camp. A big congratulations to Kate, Sive & Naomi for their 7th place in the team relay @ their first Senior Europeans.

The other disciplines went well during the week, of course I love my swimming and I felt good in the water. As I was saying the girls were tapering for their relay and Arthur for his individual event, I did a few taper sessions which was fun but another few sessions we may have differed. I may have felt great in the pool but I was nowhere near the fastest, with Swimming World SC champion in 200 back Radosław Kawęcki in the pool! It was amazing to watch his fly kick underwater and see him glide along the top of the water and it was even better for me as I was a backstroker when younger.

the 6th Sport
Modern Pentathlon, 5 sports/disciplines, surely that’s enough for a training camp, right? Well we added one to our schedule, beach volleyball! It has to get a mention as it was a lot of fun, it was a good way for us to bond with the youth athletes, although, we were not very good! We improved though with the help of the Lithuanians, we almost felt bad for them having to play with us but I was delighted with my volleyball improvements, I think it may have been my biggest improvement of the week haha! Oh and to coach Lindsey who may have beat myself and Tom, but with the help of her Lithuanian teammate.

What next?
I now have an official 4 weeks break, and I’m currently in Spain for a week with my family, time for some relaxing! Over the next few weeks I hope to do a few fencing sessions, get into the gym and build my strength and power back up as well as improve technique, dry fire (VERY IMPORTANT CONOR) and have fun! I’m going to teach one of my nieces how to swim while in Spain, play some golf with my family and just relax. I’m looking forward to also going home to Derry and seeing my friends from home as I don’t get to see them very often, it will be a fun few weeks!

Enjoy summer,

Conor

Ps. Holiday update! Chocolate pizza 😃

20130801-111831.jpg

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Next 2 Weeks

Hi everyone,

On Wednesday myself and the other pentathletes head out to Poland for a 10 day training camp preceding Senior Europeans. The youth squad of 10 youth athletes headed out this morning, it will be nice to have a big squad at the camp with youth, development and senior combining for around 16 athletes.

I’m really excited for the camp, it will be great to be able to just focus on training and no other worries. I was once told after my first blog to give an insight into the athlete’s mind and hopefully I can do that over the next two weeks with a few blogs during my time in Poland. I won’t go in to too much depth but last week was a hard week for me, I did a lot of sessions well but everything felt very forced last week, with my running technique not feeling great and my fencing not feeling very natural but this is the perfect time to be heading away and to get everything on track.

As I said it will be nice to only have to focus on training because at home I try and focus on training but I also have to go and work part time. I enjoy work but it does take up time and can be tiring, so at home it’s easy to let everything build up and come together like having to go to work, maybe not feeling great about technique or performance and other worries. It’s hard as an athlete to separate everything but it is key and sometimes one provides an escape from the other or simply from the rest of the world.

I’ll finish on a good note with a quote from Michael Jordan,

I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed. –Michael Jordan

Conor
twitter.com/chillick1

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