Leverage These Vasa Resources To Maintain Fitness At Home During The Pandemic
Since early March when cases of COVID-19, a potentially deadly upper respiratory disease caused by a newly identified Coronavirus, began spiking across the United States, pools and gyms have shuttered their doors in an effort to slow expansion of the pandemic. This has left many swimmers high and dry with little recourse to maintain fitness at home as public health officials scramble to contain the outbreak.
Although nearly all athletic competitions, including the 2020 Olympic Games, have also been canceled or postponed for the next several months, many swimmers continue to hope that summer and fall open water races, triathlons, and meets will go forward as planned.
Meanwhile, athletes are left wondering how they can maintain fitness at home, particularly in places where lockdowns prevent beach access or the water is still too cold for lengthy workouts?
Dryland Training At Home
One way, naturally, would be to get into a regular habit of using a Vasa Trainer, Vasa SwimErg or Vasa Sport Bench if you have access to one. These versatile swim-at-home machines allow swimmers to maintain swimming-specific fitness plus the development of strength, power, endurance and improving your swimming technique. They’re a great addition to in water-training, but they’re especially useful in times like these when in-water training is not an option and you need to maintain fitness at home.
Many of you already know this, as evidenced by how busy Vasa headquarters in Essex Junction, Vermont, have been lately. As soon as the first pool closures were announced earlier this month, a marked increase in orders started rolling in, as many swimmers sought to shift to land-based exercise. Rob Sleamaker, CEO and Founder of Vasa, notes that over the past few weeks, “it’s felt like we’re drinking from a firehose,” in terms of receiving orders and dispatching new equipment to dry-sided swimmers around the country.
This is good news because it means that many athletes are following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advice about staying home and away from others, a practice called social distancing. What you might not realize, though, is that even though you need to keep a minimum of 6 feet between you and other people to help stop the spread of COVID-19, you don’t have to work out completely on your own. Vasa has a wide range of resources that can help you keep on track with your training.
Maintain Fitness At Home With A Workout Plan
If you’re creating a quarantine dryland program, there are three primary areas you should seek to cover:
- Interval training. Most swimmers are well acquainted with the concept of interval training or using short, high-intensity sessions of activity on a time schedule to build speed, strength, power, and stamina. And it’s not just for in-water activity. You can create challenging interval training sessions using any of the Vasa swim benches, and especially with a SwimErg or with a Vasa Trainer. This article explains in detail why you should be including interval training into your season and its benefits effects.
- Power building. A Vasa SwimErg is the ideal tool for helping build more power into your swimming stroke, especially since you can measure every workout precisely using the Power Meter. Vasa has lots of resources to help you focus on this important aspect of your swimming with this blog post, which explains how, when and why you should be doing power-building workouts.
- Technique practice. Swimming is a highly-technical athletic endeavor. Brute strength can’t compete with exquisitely hydrodynamic techniques. But when you’re in the water and trying to get a big anaerobic bang for your buck, sometimes it’s easy to give technique work short shrift. This is one focal area that can really benefit from working on a Vasa Trainer or Vasa SwimErg. Focusing on good technique and getting a high-intensity workout ins less time are two key benefits of Vasa products. Check out this video playlist for technique videos from the legendary Masters swimming World-record holder and technique guru, Karlyn Pipes.
With a little creativity, you can accomplish all three of these with a Vasa Trainer, a Vasa SwimErg, or a Vasa Sport Bench.
In building a program, you should look to include all three of these elements. This “Build Your Own Workout article outlines how to build an entire swim-specific workout using a Vasa SwimErg or a Vasa Trainer.
When transitioning to a whole new way of working out, it can take a little time to figure out your program and move forward productively. But a few additional considerations can help you find new motivation and forge ahead.
- Maintain a schedule. If you’re used to working out first thing in the morning at the pool, stick with that plan now. Get up at the same time as you would for a pool workout, and follow the same protocol with pre-workout fueling before initiating your dryland workout. A potential bonus here is gaining back travel time to and from the pool, which is time you can now put towards working out or another activity.
- Modify your goals. For many swimmers, the spring and early meet season is no longer an option. But what about adjusting your goals and focusing on another event in the fall or winter that may be far more likely to occur? Selecting a new target event or goal will give you a focus to your training that can motivate you on the days when you might not feel like pushing as hard.
- Make self-care a priority. Many of us are anxious about what’s happening and that can lead to stress eating, drinking too much alcohol, and engaging in other not-so-great habits that are counterproductive to your training goals. Therefore, it’s imperative to eat healthy, nutritious food in proportion to your activity level, limit alcohol consumption, and get plenty of sleep.
- Keep in touch with friends and family. Though you might not be meeting with your teammates and friends for workouts in person, today’s technology means you can still keep in touch remotely and even challenge each other to keep pace on workouts from your own homes. Leverage text messaging and video chatting platforms to help you maintain social bonds while practicing the recommended social distancing.
Check out these other resources that are available to help you improve your swimming, even if water-based swimming isn’t an option right now.
- Faster Freestyle. This free, five-part program can help you shave time off your freestyle events.
- Vasa Trainer YouTube Channel. There are dozens of how-to and workout idea videos posted on our channel, all for free and available on-demand.
- Training Blog. Other articles and information covering everything you could possibly want to know about how to get the most out of your Vasa Trainer, Vasa SwimErg or Vasa Swim Bench are available on our blog.
- 12-Week Training program – This free training program was crafted by top coaches to provide triathletes, open water swimmers, and distance swimmers a structured workout plan that will help you make steady progress to prepare for races and challenge swims.
- Remote Coaching – for those who would like to hire a coach, there are many qualified swim and triathlon coaches who know how to leverage the power of a Vasa SwimErg and Vasa Trainer. This might be a great time to hire one!
All of these resources can help you maintain fitness, strength, and stamina at home while putting your Vasa to best use during this uncertain and difficult time.
About The Author: Elaine K. Howley is an award-winning freelance writer and editor specializing in sports, health, and history topics. She’s also a lifelong swimmer who specializes in cold water marathon swimming and calls greater Boston home.