Tenerife Swim Faster Camp
A week living and training like a pro-athlete is most people dreams. And the only way to achieve this for the most is by either becoming pro, or simply participating in a training camp, where everything revolves around training, eating and sleeping (recovery that is). All in all a good way to set a good foundation for the rest of the year.
My coach Will Newberry recommended the Tri Dynamic Swim Faster Camp with Swim for Tri Head coach Dan Bullock in Tenerife. This was to solve some of my open water anxiety issues, and to work on my technique skills, that usually resemble more brute force than fine art most of the time. The camp is the perfect opportunity to escape Northern Europe’s winter weather, and simply focus through multiple daily swim session on improving my swimming ability. The swim camps location was at Tenerife Top Training facility where some of the world’s best swimmers have trained, including Ian Thorpe. The facilities included both a 50m and 25m pool, and the worlds most advanced swim flume channel. Benefits included being filmed each day and having my swim stroke analyzed each day. This is in comparison to my usual 25m pool back at home, where the only analysis comes from the oldies complaining about to much water splashing.
The swim camp itself was divided into two sessions a day, with myself adding a run session most days. The first 2 days it felt relative hard to swim that amount, as I usually only swim 5 times a week. However each training session was structured in a way to make it manageable, and the other swim camp participants were great motivators in their own right. The midday sun also offered a new challenge, with sunscreen being a must to ensure no sunburn, or in my case to ensure an even suntan. But this was all mastered without delay to ensure painful free swim sessions, with a helping hand/nutriton by the camps sponsor PowerBar.
Big part of the training session were the warm ups, and this is something that lacks in most if not all training sessions of mine. But our swim coach Dan ensured that we mastered a good warm up to ensure that our limbs would be fluid enough to start each swim session in a good way. But his thought behind was also that we learned these techniques to be then incorporated before a race where a longer warm up is simply not possible. So if you see anybody doing funny arm movements at a race meet, then you know that he or she went to Dan’s Swim School. This came in addition to plenty of stretching back at the hotel to ensure the muscles were ready for the next session. Any run training that was done separate to the camp was done along the beach promenade, where one could easily run 15km out and back. I just don’t recommend it just before dinnertime, as the promenade is then packed with pensioners.
Would I come back again to swim camp. I would say yes, as it incorporates everything one needs from pool to open water training, to swim stroke analysis. Only thing I would recommend that one should pace themselves throughout the week. There is no point in trying to hammer it out the first few days and then struggle at the end of it. This training session is not about speed gains, but all about building more foundations and technique to ensure you swim faster and more efficiently for years to come. For more information on Tri Dynamic and their training camps visit www.tridynamic.co.uk or follow them on twitter.