Swim faster without spending more time in the water
Discover the 4 most common swim killers and how to fix them so that you can shave minutes off your swim time.
BRAD BROWN: Welcome onto this edition of The Kona Edge, it’s time to chat some swimming and it’s a returning guest, all the way from Wolverhampton in the UK, Dean Edwards, welcome back on, nice to catch up, good to chat again.
DEAN EDWARDS: Yeah thanks Brad, nice to speak to you.
BRAD BROWN: Dean let’s talk a little bit about the swim and some of the things that you’ve done from a swim perspective to get better and get to the Ironman World Championships in Kona. Out of the three disciplines, which would you say is your weakest?
DEAN EDWARDS: Probably the swim.
Working on your weakest Ironman discipline
BRAD BROWN: Is there one thing you’ve done that’s made a big difference in your Ironman swim performance over your Ironman career?
DEAN EDWARDS: Definitely using the pool buoy, the paddles and Ironman specific swim sets. I do a lot of strength work in the pool. That’s improved my Ironman swim quite a lot. I didn’t swim as a kid, so I’ve never felt like I’ve been a natural. I’ve had to work really hard on getting stronger, really working the arms and shoulders.
The work I’ve put in has got me from getting out of the water about 400th in a normal Ironman top 100 region.
BRAD BROWN: As far as the amount of time and who you swim with. Do you swim on your own or do you swim with a swim squad?
Ironman Swim – How much should you do?
DEAN EDWARDS: On my own. I don’t really know of any local swim squads to be honest. It’s pretty much on my own all the time.
BRAD BROWN: How many swim sets would you typically put in in a week?
DEAN EDWARDS: A minimum of 3 times a week, usually four. Sometimes as much as 5x a week and I’ll normally swim between 3-5km, varying sets.
BRAD BROWN: Dean it’s interesting you talk about varying Ironman swimming sets. You’re obviously not one of those guys that just goes out and swims for the sake of swimming. Do you have specific outcomes for each one of your Ironman swim sets? Do you then tailor specific swim sets to those swim sessions?
Ironman specific swim sets
DEAN EDWARDS: 100%. I think you’d be bored out of your mind to be honest. If you just jumped in and swim 4-5km nonstop. I don’t think that’s very good training. We’ll do sets of sometimes 25m sprints, sometimes I’ll get in and do a couple of hard 1500’s. It’s different every day, but you need to train at different intensities to get it faster.
BRAD BROWN: You talk about mixing things up, just to keep it interesting. What’s your favourite Ironman swim set? What is it that you just love doing in the pool?
DEAN EDWARDS: Probably a set that we do, where I’ll do a lot of 25m sprints followed immediately by a hard set of 200’s with the paddle. That really hurts.
BRAD BROWN: You obviously like the pain.
DEAN EDWARDS: Yeah, I love it.
BRAD BROWN: Dean Edwards, thank you so much for sharing what Ironman specific swim sets you use to help give you The Kona Edge, much appreciated. We look forward to catching up again soon.
DEAN EDWARDS: Cheers Brad.
Brad Brown is a 40 something age grouper that dreams of one day qualifying for and racing on the big island (He may have to outlive everyone in his age group though).
Morbidly obese in 2009, Brad clocked in at 165kgs (363lbs) at his heaviest.
He's subsequently lost a third of his body weight on the way to a half Ironman pb of 5:06 and a full Ironman pb of 12:21.
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