Use equipment to customize workouts to your specific needs
One challenge of swimming just a few days a week on a Masters team is that there is often very little continuity and cohesion between each workout. I sometimes find that I haven’t put in enough work to justify the “recovery” practice or that I would be better off doing the sprint training as a kick set instead of as a swimming set. Luckily the coaches are flexible and don’t mind if I adjust the practice to my specific needs on occasion, so long as I don’t get in the way.
In order to maximize my workout experience, I use equipment like paddles and Zoomers. For example, earlier this week I knew that I needed to work on maintaining an aerobic effort during a long freestyle set. As I began to fatigue during the set, I reached into my bag and grabbed a pair of Z2’s. I was able to immediately use the speed boost from the fins to swim at better aerobic effort.
Using the fins during the set allowed me to modify my workout so that I could achieve my goals for that training session. Further, I was able to make the coach happy by swimming within the constraints of the practice and not cause any type of disruption.