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For a week of my vacation, I will be staying at a hotel that has a short pool (17m). My question is: Given a set of swim drills (e.g. some swim drills), for a short pool what should a workout program look like that focuses on technique? Workouts should be around 45 min.

I am a beginner at swimming, typically I swim 50m at around 50s with around 30-31 strokes and can keep that pace for some time.

My goal for swimming this "trainingperiod" is to participate in an open water race in the center of Stockholm that is about 1.6 km long, see Riddarfjardssimmningen or FB. Besides on the vacation, I have practiced swimming 3-4 times per week.

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1500m is a typical triathlon distance. For the week you are gone, you won't lose much fitness (if any) if you still work on drills, etc. I would recommend you take a look at some triathlon swim training programs, especially swim workouts in a binder, they will help develop stamina and speed for that type of a race. I would also substitute a pool day for an open water swim (OWS). OWS is a completely different animal, no lane lines, sighting problems, etc., and first timers can get a bit panicky, even if they are experienced in the pool. Re: water temps, you might need wetsuit experience also. –  JohnP Jul 20 '12 at 18:48
    
@JohnP 1500m is a typical OLYMPIC distance. triathlons can vary widely in swim distance from < 100 yards to well over 2.4 miles. –  Ryan Miller Jul 20 '12 at 19:15
    
Yes, I know, I've been to Nationals. I classify them as one of 4, sprint, Oly, Half Im, IM. "typically", swim distances are 500m, 1500m, 1.2 miles and 2.4 miles respectively. I wasn't implying anything else. –  JohnP Jul 20 '12 at 20:27

2 Answers 2

up vote 6 down vote accepted

With a short pool, you are limited, especially if you have an efficient flip turn. Since you are a beginner, I don't think that is a problem (Not a knock, just a fact. Flip turns take lots of practice to be effective).

I would take a pull buoy with you and concentrate on form drills. As a beginner swimmer in a very technique driven sport, this would serve you the best, as it's hard to get effective aerobic work in a short length pool. I would recommend single arm drills, sculling, and concentration on early vertical forearm (EVF) and maintaining a high elbow through your pull.

Although you describe yourself as a beginner, 1:40 for 100m as a sustainable pace means that you have decent fitness and decent form already. I generally regard 2:00/100m sustainable pace as the break point, in that if you can achieve that pace, you probably don't have any glaring stroke flaws holding you back. Not to say there aren't improvements to be made, but your stroke isn't really hindering your progress much.

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Indeed, focus on improving your technique, rather than trying to cover lots of distance. –  Ivo Flipse Jul 20 '12 at 17:55
    
Good points! Almost a perfect answer. Would a typical workout be that you do n*{single arm drills, sculling, EVF} or nsingle arm drills, narm drills, etc. –  FredrikD Jul 20 '12 at 18:36
    
That's going to be a personal preference. My personal setup would be n*{ (n* single) (n* scull) etc}. This gives you a few repetitions to groove in a drill, and if you structure it in a good sequence, then each drill builds on itself for the next one. Then do it all over again. :) –  JohnP Jul 20 '12 at 18:42
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@JohnP. Feedback. The advice worked well. I worked with the drills you suggested in the short pool (single arms, sculling (had to check that one on google), EVA and high elbow. Feels good now that I am back to a 50m pool. –  FredrikD Jul 28 '12 at 12:28
    
Glad it worked for you! –  JohnP Jul 29 '12 at 15:18

You could also try a Swim Tether. I do not have any experience with these devices myself, but know others who use them and recommend them, and not just for short pools. One downside that I can think of is that it would be pretty difficult (impossible?) to count yards/meters. But, if you wanted to do a 45-minute straight swim, it would be ideal.

Another option that could work is just some band work

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Looks interesting. However, it is unlikely that the hotel has it place. –  FredrikD Jul 21 '12 at 7:51
    
You could purchase your own... –  Ryan Miller Jul 23 '12 at 12:13
    
band work looks more doable –  FredrikD Jul 23 '12 at 16:10

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