What’s in my gear bag

I carry two bags to the pool every day. My “swim” bag and my “gear bag”.  In last week’s post I gave you a peak into my swim bag. This week I will look into my gear bag must haves. I hope these peaks into my bags help you be prepared for your trips to the pool.

Paddles: Probably the only essential tool I keep in my bag. Pull work is upwards to 10% of my workouts, but be careful to not get addicted. Over paddles is bad for the shoulders and can be used as a crutch to replace old fashioned endurance when you put them on in the middle of a main set.

Pull buoys: I like mine, but they are strictly optional. If you use pull buoys make sure you are using the smallest pair that keep your legs afloat.

Fins: I have mixed feeling about the fins you will find in my bag. For senior level swimmers I may recommend not using fins, but as a middle-aged master I have to admit I like my fins. I use full sized fins to help mix things up. We do kick and some IM swim with fins.

Extra cap and goggles: Last week I mentioned I carry two caps and two pairs of goggles in my swim bag. I additionally carry yet an extra of each in my gear bag.  Practice without a cap or goggles is a virtual loss and I carry redundant backups rather than get up at 5 AM and get to the pool to discover my workout is ruined for a lack of cap or goggles.

Extra paddle with straps: Over time I have broken paddles or replaced straps. This often leaves me with some extras. I place the extras through the holes in a spare paddle so they are available at workout to replace a broken strap or paddle.

One item you will not find in my bag is a kickboard. I don’t like the use of kick-boards. They alter the body position by raising the shoulder and neck leading to stiff shoulders and poor kicking mechanics.  So, leave the kickboard on the shelf. One exception, the beginner swimmer who cannot yet comfortably do a length of the pool without an aid should include the kickboard in their bag.

So, there is a peak into my pool bag and gear bag. Let me know what else you consider an essential in your bag below.

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