A few follow-up thoughts on pull buoys:
First, to be clear, the use of pulling gear for motivational reasons (as Mark described) is probably only relevant if you’re a distance/marathon swimmer who trains enough volume that mental fatigue is an issue. Or perhaps (as I described) if you’re just having a bad day of training and pulling gear means the difference between getting through a workout or bailing out early.
If you’re a sprinter and/or stroke specialist, pulling equipment probably isn’t too useful, aside from certain types of drills.
But Mark is a marathon swimmer, and so am I – so that’s why I wrote the post.
Second, I want to highlight one particularly important quote from Mark’s interview:
To make up for the lack of swimming I do a lot of running, cycling and kicking to make sure that I have strong legs and I do a lot of core work to make sure that my abs are ready to handle the body position requirements for a race, so it’s not like I only do pulling sets.
So, it’s not that he doesn’t think leg strength is important, even as a marathon swimmer – he just finds it easier (from a motivational standpoint) to break up his training into different activities.
What I didn’t realize at the time was how much leg-focused activity he does. In his recent Open Water Wednesday interview with Steven Munatones (excerpt only), Mark said he runs on a treadmill for an hour to an hour and a half daily.
That’s a hell of a lot of running for a swimmer!