Do you skip the warm up and jump in during the preset? You know who you are. Warm ups and presets are not the same, each serves a distinct purpose. Here is a brief explanation of the distinct purpose each serve.
Warm up: Gets the muscles moving. You loosen up the muscles and get the range of motion going, especially if you swim straight out of bed at a ridiculously early morning practice. I often advise doing some gentle stretching mixed in to your warm up. Warm ups should be slower in pace, what strokes and drills you do is really up to the individual. Focus on what is stiff and needs to loosen up.
Preset: Presets serve to get the heart and lungs working. While warm ups are done at a slower, relaxed pace presets should begin to approach your normal working pace. I prefer presets that include kick, drill and swim and at least the opportunity to include all four strokes.
How much warm up and preset yardage do you need?
It is different for every swimmer, and for each person it can change from day-to-day or even change based on the time of day. Here are some good rules of thumb:
You need more warm-up when you swim early in the morning
Older swimmers need more warm-up then younger swimmers
Your warm-up and preset should each represent a minimum of 5% of your total yardage.
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