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TRIED & TESTED

We assembled a crack team of swimmers to test a range of swimming training aids to bring you our choice of the best kit to use in your training sessions

GEAR SPECIAL: SWIMMING TRAINING AIDS

KIT TESTERS

Dan Abel

Swimmer and swim coach at Fit&Abel

Lisa Lloyd

English Channel swimmer

Jonathan Cowie

OS editor

Alice Gartland

OS contributing editor

ON TEST

Paddles

“Paddles predominately provide increased resistance and are great for strength and speed training” Dan Abel

FINIS AGILITY PADDLE

€17.99, finisswim.com

They say: Teaches an early vertical forearm position to increase stroke efficiency. The convex shape requires a proper palm-positive hand position. Incorrect technique will cause the paddle to fall off.

Dan: A technique paddle that encourages positive pressure on the water. They don’t have a strap which is helpful in guiding beginners towards the correct stroke and catch technique – if swimming incorrectly they just fall off. A lot of products can be overengineered. These aren’t.

FINIS FREESTYLER PADDLES

€17.99, finisswim.com

They say: Specifically designed for freestyle training, the paddles plane the hand forward through the water, improving reach and distanceper- stroke. They promote a strong pull through, better hip-rotation and increased efficiency.

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About Outdoor Swimmer

To paraphrase Ethel Merman, everything in the world of outdoor swimming is coming up roses. There may be thorns (such as FINA’s wrongheaded wetsuit rules), but we are undergoing a period of exciting growth with more and more people swimming outdoors and distance records being smashed around the world. One of the trailblazers in the world of marathon swimming is Sarah Thomas. In ‘Century Swim’ we meet her to talk about her mind-blowing 104-mile world record swim. For many outdoor swimmers, autumn is time to hang up wetsuits and swimming costumes until spring next year. With that in mind this issue is a pool training special, including a beginners’ guide to swim training aids. But your swimming season needn’t end now – in ‘Extend your Season’ I look at how and why you should swim outdoors all year round. If you’re anything like me, a lot of your time is spent procrastinating about getting into cold water. Our competition this month is to win the ‘Outdoor Swimmer’s Guide to Faffing’ calendar (and a snowflake swimming hat) by artist and outdoor swimmer Nancy Farmer. Check out the competition on page 23. Enjoy the magazine and happy swimming. Jonathan Cowie Editor
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