For the swim sessions, there’s a few tools that you’ll need and I want to explain which ones to buy and why. You should check that your local pool will allow you to use certain toys / tools before buying. Here goes:
Paddles – The idea of using paddles is pretty simple, it makes your hands bigger, which increases resistance and makes it harder to pull backwards in the water. The added resistance places more strain on your muscles. There’s lots of different types of paddles, some are designed to improve technique, some are designed to make you think you need ‘another’ pair of paddles and some just make it harder to pull in the water…. those are the ones you want. Coaches and athletes will always tell you that some fancy paddles are great as they help with technique and reduce shoulder injuries etc, but they probably just need to stop talking bollox, strap on a pair of normal paddles and get some work done.
Buy a basic / flat hand paddle with elastic straps on the back, IMPORTANT – Do not get them too big, they should be just slightly bigger than your hand so check the sizing. We stock TYR in the shop, come in and try them against your hand.
Pull buoy – There’s a fair bit of paddles and pull buoy work on the plan, pull work is great as you can focus on your arms, although plenty of people will tell you otherwise in infinite detail. You need a basic pull buoy to do a basic job, you don’t need anything that’s double the price before it has an anti-roll axis frame built in. It’s a piece of foam… which we’ve got in the shop.
Front snorkel – Possibly the best piece of swim kit you’ll ever buy. Read the swim document we provide on the swim page, a snorkel allows you to focus on keeping your head still and central, allowing great, symmetrical body position. It also helps you to control breathing. Just need a basic one, we’ve got TYR in the shop.
Fins – Great for kick work, just like paddles, they increase resistance by making your feet bigger. Don’t get them too big, you need small to moderate size, not massive flippers which you’ll never move through the water!
Don’t overcomplicate it, buy things which are designed to do their prime job.