From Monotony to Discovery!
Swimming drills, running drills, cycling drills– all of these are tools. They train you to execute each stroke, each stride perfectly.
- Swimming drills are tools for investigating the elements of efficient swimming – balancing, streamlining and propulsion. They help you answer the question, “How do I lay face down in the water and use my body’s weight to move forward?”
- Running drills are tools for investigating the elements of efficient running – balance, posture, alignment and biomechanics. They help you to answer the question, “How do I use my body weight to move forward quickly without getting injured?”
- Cycling drills are tools for investigating the dynamic and harmonious relationship between you and your bike including balance, posture, alignment, biomechanics and riding positions. They help you answer the question “How do I balance and navigate safely on two wheels while shifting my body weight from side to side?”
Getting the Edge:
Let’s say you are training for a goal race, and you want every advantage. In the magazine you were reading last night, there was a brief article on a cycling drill, or a drill specific to your sport. “Damn, I’ll bet some of my competitors are doing these drills. It might give them the edge on me. I better do ‘em too.” Neither the illustrations nor the text were really clear on how or why. Is it worth the time and energy to include them in your training?
If I come across a new drill and it sparks my curiosity, I do a little exploration – even if the drill is not clearly described and its purpose is not stated. I usually do this during a low point in a training cycle – not during a peak phase as I prepare for a goal race.
To evaluate a drill, I ask myself a few questions:
- Does this drill improve my proprioceptive and kinesthetic awareness for a specific skill that is relevant to my sport(s)?
- If so, how?
- Does it provide me with a new feeling – with an enhanced perception about the specific movement pattern(s) of my sport?
- Will this drill help me to execute each stroke, each stride with greater precision?
As a Swim Technique Master Coach for Total Immersion, I use specific swimming drills to assist my clients. Some of my clients avoid drills – outside of our coaching sessions, they may recall what the drill was, say to themselves, “Been there, done that”, and concentrate on cranking out the 3000 yards using the interval set that was recommended in the latest issue of a triathlete magazine.
I have other clients who dwell on one specific drill, and will do nothing else because they don’t feel as if they have mastered that drill.
It’s not about how well you can do a drill. It’s about what you learn and discover – even if you feel clumsy.
Each drill provides an opportunity to increase kinetic intelligence and proprioception. Be clear about what that opportunity is.
The cycling drills presented in the Zendurance Cycling Self-Study Guide are explained through written text, short videos, and audio guides so you can be clear about the opportunity each offers.
Let’s face it: Drills can be boring!
Cycling drills, swimming drills, running drills - all of these can be monotonous. After all, these are short, isolated, repetitive movements – over and over and over again. Sometimes it’s hard to stay focused! If you expect to derive value from a simple drill (or from any mundane activity in life) you must approach it with patience, curiosity and an open-mind. This is mindfulness - Zen Fitness.
Maximize the value of your drills:
Avoid “auto pilot”! Every time you practice drills – every time you train – discover something new.
Use curiosity to energize your senses and your mind. Seek precision and perfection! It’s not about quantity – it’s about quality.
Swimming, running and cycling drills improve your proprioceptive and kinesthetic awareness.
How do you apply that new-found awareness to what you’re really after – endurance, strength and speed? Focal Points: The Bridge from Drills to Mastery
Triathlon Motivation: Kinetic Intelligence
Zendurance Cycling Home Page