It’s the holidays! And if you’re anything like me that means one thing: FOOD. So much food I can never decide what to eat and then end up eating everything. Oops? No, not oops, definitely always smart to eat everything and not miss out on something. Yikes, here I go, not even coming close to my point. The holidays also mean gift giving! I love any opportunity I get to give my family, friends, and loved ones presents that I know they’re going to love. But when it comes to swimmers, triathletes, open water swimmers, and basically anyone else who loves to spend 30-40% of their waking moments in the water, it can sometimes be hard to figure out what they need. So I’ve compiled a list of things we use with our SwimBox clients (as well as ourselves) that will give great benefit to anyone with a love of water sports.
Your first move should be to buy these Perform Better Exercise Bands. We use these with our clients CONSTANTLY and I feel like I’m telling people to buy them more often than I’m making bad food jokes. They’re great to use, whether you’re a beginner or more advanced swimmer, to help you fine tune many aspects of your kick. Most often we use them around our clients’ ankles to work on their upkick, but they can also be used just above the knee to help work on kicking from the hip as well as strengthening your legs. They come in a pack of four, so once your legs get used to one level of resistance you can move up to a higher level of resistance to keep your legs working that much harder. And, just like anything made out of a type of rubber that gets stretched over and over again, they’re going to wear out, which means? They’re great to give again and again!
Next up is the Finis Tempo Trainer. I used to think these were a bit pointless, but boy has my husband proved me wrong. This is basically a tiny metronome that you set to a specific rate and tuck inside your cap right around your ear so you can hear it underwater. You can use the metronome feature to help you work on cadence and tempo of your arms, legs, rotation, pretty much any part of your stroke. It’s also a great tool to help you set a timer for yourself during a workout. For instance I used one of these little guys every time I got in the pool to train for my Aquathlon so I didn’t have to pay attention to a clock and could focus 100% of my attention on my stroke. Yes, you have to reset the timer each round, but it’s incredibly easy and you don’t even notice yourself doing it after the first 2-3 rounds of your set.
Say you want to give something that’s more of a theme gift, or a set of things that goes along with one overarching idea. Okay, I hear you. Let’s throw in some of our favorite Keifer Ankle Weights to go along with the kicking theme we started with the exercise bands. We use 2.5 lb and 5 lb weights depending on your level of skill and strength, and they can be used so many different ways. Firstly, placed around the ankles to work on upkick and hamstring strength. This way of using the weights is also just a great way to burn out your legs during a swim practice. Try swimming with these guys for 2,000-4,000 yards and see how your legs feel after that, yikes. Do that and you’re more than earned your holiday goodies. These weights can also be utilized around the biceps to strengthen your back during your catch and pull.
This one I would 100% suggest if you’re an open water swimmer or triathlete. The MP K180 is the PERFECT goggle to use if you spend any time in the open water. But what makes this goggle great is that it’s also wonderful for pool use as well. I personally have worn this exact goggle (and it’s tinted brother pair) for years and won’t be stopping any time soon. The eye piece is small, but not too small that did into your eye socket and create huge marks. My favorite part about this is that they eye piece is also very deep, meaning it sits far away from your eye and you don’t get the feeling that they’re so tight they’re going to become one with your eyeball. Bonus? Those pretty eyelashes of yours won’t come anywhere near the lens.
I have to warn you with this one, it’s going to seem weird. But as soon as that package arrives and you go to wrap this gift, you’re going to be so jealous that you didn’t grab one for yourself as well. What is the one thing that swimmers hate the most (besides being told they’re about to do 10 x 100s butterfly for time, that is)? That excruciatingly painful feeling you get from being wet and cold at the same time. I hated it as a kid, I hated it when I was competing, and I hate it every time I shower in the winter. Solution? The Dry Robe Towel Poncho. What is that, you might be thinking. It’s exactly what it sounds like. It’s a towel that’s been fashioned into an oversized poncho that you put on after you get out of the water. The towel material itself is thicker than your standard towel, AND, it has a hood to help keep your wet head warm and pockets for all of your snacks. It’s definitely a winner.