In the context of triathlon training, I’m a reluctant swimmer at best! However I’ve always loved the water, and usually find that a pool recovery session really speeds up my recovery after a tough race or run day.
The potential benefits of pool recovery sessions seem to be well appreciated amongst the athletes I meet. However many say that they don’t regularly incorporate these sessions into their recovery strategy due to a lack of guidance in terms of what exactly they should do, once in the water.
Measured subjectively, Dawson et al (2005) observed predominantly that muscular soreness is reduced by pool recovery sessions, rather than seeing improvements in flexibility or power output. Their study used pool walking as a recovery intervention immediately post-sport.
In addition, Reilly and Ekblom (2005) suggest that it makes little difference whether recovery strategies are employed immediately post-sport, or the following day.
There are so many different options available in terms of exercises and drills you could perform. So rather than make an exhaustive list, I thought I’d record the video above to demonstrate the loosely structured session I often perform myself to great effect.