By Nancy Ripton
From the print edition, Summer 2012
Growing a pair of fins—literally—is the best way to boost your lap time. “Wearing fins during laps helps you concentrate on technique,” says Pierre Lafontaine, CEO and national coach for Swimming Canada.
Pro Move: “If your core isn’t strong you will get tired faster and won’t be able to power through the water,” says Lafontaine. Try the plank to boost core strength: Lie face down on a mat, feet hip-distance apart. Place your elbows directly under your shoulders with your hands clasped. Your forearms should make an upside-down V-shape on the floor. Push off your toes and forearms, lifting your body up. Hold for 30–60 seconds.
They come in all shapes and sizes, with beginner races starting at a 375-metre swim, a 10-kilometre bike ride and a 2.5-kilometre run. The combination is appealing because it prevents injury and offers variety.
Pro Move: “A Brick workout (a combination of biking and running or swimming and running) is one way to get in shape for a triathlon,” says Craig Taylor, senior development Coach for Triathlon Canada. Start with a 10-minute warm-up jog. Then alternate five minutes on the bike with three minutes of running for 20–30 minutes.
Tennis players need the physical and mental endurance to last for hours on the court. “Tennis is all about footwork,” says Gary Muller, tennis director at Ontario Racquet Club, and former ATP player and coach.
Pro Move: Long-distance cardio, such as a run or bike ride, will help with your endurance. Also try agility drills: Partner up and have someone feed you balls at different areas of the court. Work on moving forward and back and side-to-side, and aim to increase your speed getting to the ball.
Looking for more fitness inspiration? Check out these 20 Fitness Solutions for Busy Moms.