are a staple in just about every swimmer’s training. Here is everything you need to know about making the most of this piece of equipment. “Fins and paddles!” coach called out.
A chorus of smiles and cheers swiftly followed. Some things are totally universal in our sport, and one of them is the pleasure in getting to Mach-1 while wearing equipment that throws our swimming into hyper-drive.
Paddles are one of those pieces of equipment that are found in just about every swim bag across the world, but have you ever really stopped to think about why
we use them?
From how you should use them, the research behind their effectiveness, the shortcomings of their use, and even some links to some of the best rated paddles on the market, we are going to cover everything paddle related.Swim Paddles: The Research
As an experienced swimmer you have used them so many times that you have never really paused to consider the point of them. But you do know what happens when you put them on: you swim a longer distance/stroke & you swim faster.
The research backs this up:
A group of female swimmers using a pair of small hand paddles (116cm) & over-sized paddles (286cm),completed a series of 25m sprints. We noticed both swimming speed and distance-per-stroke increased significantly.
In what is basically a copy of the previous study, this time a group of male age groupers swam a series of 25m sprints (the oversized paddles were bigger in this trial—311cm). They were instructed to hold a consistent stroke rate via an underwater speaker that helped them it constant. Same results: increased speed and distance per stroke, and handspeed in the push and in-sweep phases were down when wearing paddles.The Benefits of Swim Paddles
There are generally two main benefits to incorporating paddles into your training: building power and strength in the water, and also to help solidify good technique habits.
Here’s why you should use paddles during swim training:
1. Specific development of power.
In terms of building strength and power this is about as specific as it gets. As long as you are performing the stroke precisely as you normally would (which can be hard with a slower catch and pull as shown in the research above), you are adding resistance to your stroke.
2. Teach you speed and efficiency.
You don’t need me to tell you that swimming with paddles is awesome because you get to go much faster—probably as fast or faster as race pace when going all-out. When swimming at this kind of speed you can really get a feel for how you are most efficient in the water, from keeping a rigid torso, to having an early catch, and so on.
3. Spices up your workout.
For those long, monotonous repeats of 500s or whatever coach is subjecting to you that day, throwing in some paddles is a an easy way to mix things up and keep you fresh mentally.
4. Encourages a better catch.
When you are feeling particularly hardcore use only the middle finger strap. When you don’t engage the early catch the paddle will slip off and you will be feeling like a rank amateur having to put your paddle back on mid-length. (On the bright side it will teach you what not to do.)
5. You’ll know when you aren’t pulling correctly.
Paddles accentuate everything about the pulling motion. Your catch is stronger, the pulling motion is stronger—you will be able to better focus and tune those parts of your stroke.The Downsides
Everything is not all golden when it comes to your hand paddles, though. If you’ve ever had pain in your shoudlers you know that they tend to exacerbate the tenderness, and while they can encourage some good training habits in some instances they can also open the door to bad ones:
Oversized paddles put strain on ligaments and tendons in your arms. If you have weak shoulders, or are experiencing a fresh round of the dreaded swimmers shoulder than large paddle use is probably not for you. Think of paddles like weights: if you have bad, shaky form in the water the potential for injury increases significantly.
Paddles can encourage bad training habits. Just as often as they encourage good ones, throwing the dinner plates on your hands can also develop habits you are trying to steer clear of: from spreading the fingers, to having a gallop in the stroke from a slow pull but fast recovery, and so on.
Best Practices for Using Hand PaddlesStart with paddles just larger than your hands.
We all vary in terms of natural hand size and shoulder strength. You might have small hands but boulder-shoulders, and vice versa—so start with paddles that are just a little bit larger than your hands and progress from there.
The tendency is to start with dinner plates right off the bat (guilty!), but if it means that your stroke is unbearably slow or that its straining the tendons in your elbow than the paddles become a moot training tool.
Remove the wrist straps.
The last thing you want to do is throw on some paddles and start ingraining some less-than-rad training habits. By removing the wrist straps you will find out very quickly whether or not you are swimming with good technique, particularly in freestyle.
If you aren’t swimming with your “natural paddle”—the hand to elbow, and going for early vertical forearm at the beginning of the pulling motion, the paddle will slip right off. To be sure it is annoying when it happens, but it will keep you technically honest.
Mimic natural finger position.
A common occurrence with really big paddles is for swimmers to spread their finger sin order to more evenly apply pressure across the paddle. If you need to do this the paddles are too large.
Similarly, if your fingers extend beyond the edge of the paddles you are going to naturally curl your finger tips around the edge of the paddle for more stability.The Takeaway
Like anything else in your mesh bag, your swim paddles should serve a clear purpose when you use them.
Whether it is improving your technique, developing more power, or acclimatizing yourself to cruising along at race pace, use your swim paddles smartly and with purpose and your swimming–and shoulders!–will thank you.
Swim meets are a world upon themselves. They can be stressful, fun and a wild roller coaster ride. If we step back and let our swimmers take over, meets can be a place for them to be responsible. They provide many opportunities for our kids to practice skills that will cross over to the real world—in college, careers and families.
Here’re a few life lessons your kids can learn from swim meets:
How to talk with adults in authority positions.
Whether it’s an official who explains a dis-qualification or volunteer moms and dads at check-in, our kids have talk to a whole lot of grown ups without our help. When they talk with professors, bosses and landlords, we won’t be at their side.
Being on time.
If they’re late to the blocks and miss an event, they’ll learn that the world won’t wait for them to show up. What a valuable lesson for school and work.
How to handle disappointments or upsets.
When our kids add time, or miss their goals, they’ll experience disappointment. They’ll also discover there is another swim, another meet and they’ll get to try again.
Kids learn good sportsmanship from handling defeat as well as from their wins. Meets give our kids a chance to view gracious winners and losers—and some who aren’t. They’ll learn what it means to have good teammates and to be a supportive teammate, too.
Being accountable for their actions.
It’s up to your swimmer to talk to their coach, warm up and warm down. They’ll find out what happens if they don’t do these basic things. In life, this translates into good study habits and taking ownership for their decisions.
How to handle constructive criticism.
After races, your swimmer will get some advice and suggestions from their coach. It’s imperative that they learn from their experiences and are able to accept constructive criticism. One day, they may find themselves face to face in a review with their boss.
They get out of it, what they put into it.
Swimming is like a bank account. Your swimmer can only withdraw what they have put in. The deposits in their account are the hard, consistent practices. They will gain self confidence from knowing they’ve done everything they could to be successful at a meet.
In what other ways do you see swim meets helping your kids throughout their lives?
Found in the back roads of Saipem, Candolim, House of Lloyds’s
is a magnificent restaurant set up in a beautiful garden. The house of course is the backdrop to this unique establishment. The villa is a hundred and fifty year old Portuguese styled house with an immense garden ideal for the restaurant to cater to functions and events, weddings and so forth. The surrounding neighbourhood is an inimitable illustration of the true Goa. Furthermore to add to the uniqueness of House of Lloyds’s, not only will you find original Goan food but a contemporary ‘fusion continental BBQ’.
Address: House of Lloyds, Saipem, Candolim, Bardez
Phone: +(91) 9823032273 / +(91) 9930326136Mustard
, a Bengali and French cuisine restaurant, promises you a lot more than delectable food. Goa is blessed with a legion of culinary ventures serving International, Indian, and Goan offerings and I have always been on a lookout for flavours I haven’t experienced yet or the ones I miss from the past. Being the smallest state in the country, it’s surprising how Goa is replete with such culinary diversity but what cuts through the clutter are places that have painstakingly researched and curated not just their menu but their ambience and music.
Address: House number 78, Mae de deus vaddo, Chogm Road, Sangolda, Goa 403511
Phone: +(91) 98234 36120
Contemporary comfort food
Set in an old colonial bungalow in the by lanes of Panjim, The Black Sheep Bistro
(BSB) is a delightful find. Prahlad and Sabreen Sukhtankar’s labour of love, BSB has all the trappings of a great eatery. Chic minimalistic interiors, soft music and an elegant set up that promises nothing less than a fantastic evening. Since both Prahlad and Sabreen have been in the hospitality business for most part of their careers in India and abroad they bring with them a unique sensibility of marrying the local with the global. The menu has been painstakingly crafted using this philosophy of sticking to local produce and flavours and giving them an international twist.
Address: Swami Vivekanand Road, Next To ICICI Bank, Panjim, Goa 403001
Phone: +(91) 832 222 2901
are a new gadget designed to boost swimmers’ performance and encourage faster practice swimming. To help you get the most out of your underwater metronome and keep sets exciting, here are 5 simple ways to utilize yours:
1. Finding the Right Beat
A tempo trainer provides a multitude of differing beats. That said, swimmers should adjust their Tempo Trainers to fit their own desired pace and ability. To find the right beat for you, try this set. For distance swimmers (500 and above) complete a 50 of each tempo, for other distances, complete the set doing 25s on mode 1:
1-choose a tempo that’s a slow rhythm (about 50 percent effort) for you
2-choose a tempo that’s a fast rhythm (about 100 percent effort)
3-decrease tempo 1 by 5
4-increase tempo 2 by 5
Continue this alternating increasing and decreasing pattern until you find a comfortable race pace for your given distance. To get an even more precise beat, try straying from the new race pace tempo by a couple of beats and see which pace you prefer.
Your tempo trainer is not only an underwater metronome; it also has a built in timer. To time yourself for longer periods, use mode 2. In mode 2, the Tempo Trainer will beep in whole second increments ranging from seconds to minutes. For a more precise pacing tool, set your Tempo Trainer to mode 3, making sure to adjust the tenths and hundredths of a second. For increased pacing feedback, set your tempo trainer to beep at lesser time increments.
For example, to pace a 100 free in 1:00 you can:
Set your tempo trainer to 1:00. It will beep once at the start and once at 1:00.
Set your tempo trainer to :30. It will beep once at the start, once at :30 when you should be turning (or done turning), and once at 1:00.
Set your tempo trainer to :15. It will beep once at the start and once every :15 (for each time you should hit the wall).
3. Mapping Your Race
If you have a goal time in mind, but haven’t quite reached it, Tempo Trainers can be an extra motivator. Set the Tempo Trainer to your goal time following the three pacing guidelines. Practice trying to reach each area in the race before the designated beep. As you get better at pacing, you will begin to notice yourself going further in the same amount of time (and thus moving faster).
4. Sprinting and Aerobic Sets
After finding your optimal race tempo. It’s important to adjust your Tempo Trainer accordingly. For longer aerobic sets, increase your mode one setting; for broken races and sets off the block, try to maintain as close to your race pace as possible.
Practice faster fluid underwater kicks with your Tempo Trainer. You can select a beat to dolphin kick along to or use a pace time for underwaters. Practice several fast 25s on tempo. Then slowly transition into underwaters followed by several fast strokes. For an added emphasis on underwater kicking, try this set:
2×25 underwater at tempo
2×20 underwater at tempo followed by fast swim
2×15 underwater at tempo followed by fast swim
2×25 fast swim
Heading to Goa for the Diwali holidays? Wondering what to pack for your baby’s trip? Here’s a full list of space-saving items for babies .... '
1. A pop-up tent
If you can fit it in your luggage – and you’re planning on getting out and about quite a bit while you’re there – a UV pop-up tent is a lifesaver. You can get lightweight ones that fold down to next-to-nothing, and it’ll save you constantly searching for shade.
2. A paddling pool
OK, so it’s hardly an essential travel item, but we bought a really cheap one that could be left behind if necessary, and used it out on our terrace and down by the main pool with the pop-up tent over the top. Great for cooling off, can be used as a makeshift bath, or drained and filled with toys to become a playpen.
3. A swim float
If you’re heading to a poolside resort, you’ll be well catered for in this department. But if you’re staying somewhere that’s less geared up for kids, consider packing a swim float that’s specially designed for small babies who won’t fit in a rubber ring. You’ll get a lot more pool time out of it.
4. Kids sun cream
They’ll need their own, as it’s specially formulated for new skin.
Essential to keep their feet safe and comfortable from the heat and sand