At a Chicago Blue Dolphins Masters practice, there’s a lane for everybody; we offer over 10 practices a week at multiple locations so that you can find a time and a place that suits you. Swimmers of all skill levels pack our lanes—we
welcome former All-American collegiate swimmers, triathletes working
on conquering the swim and adults wanting to swim for fitness and a great
all-over body workout.
We encourage all swimmers to try us out before
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Our coaching philosophy is that improvements in your speed start with improvements in your stroke mechanics or, simply, how you move through the water. To accomplish this goal, we use a three stage process:
1. Do it Well—Learn to execute the stroke correctly—with ease, economy and relaxation
2. Do it Further—Learn to hold onto the movements for longer distances and on shorter rest
3. Do it Faster—Learn to hold onto the form as you increase your tempo and swimming intensity
Chicago Blue Dolphins is unique in Chicago’s Masters swimming and triathlon training communities in that we can supplement the diversity, challenge and fun of the group swim practice environment with cutting edge swim instruction at our Swim Studio. If you think you aren’t “doing it as well as you’d like,” we have classes for all skill levels and video stroke analysis to help you understand what you are currently doing and how you can do it better. For more information on our classes and stroke analysis services, check out our Swim Studio.
The strength of Chicago Blue Dolphins’ group practices lies in our ability to tailor the instructional, training and pacing to the needs of new, intermediate and advanced swimmers. Whatever level of mastery you bring into our program, we have a spot in our pool to help you develop your swimming and racing skills and your overall swimming fitness.
We swim year-round on the UIC campus and at the Moody Bible Institute in the Loop area. We combine practice sessions in a 50-meter pool with sessions in a 25-yard pool to provide variety in the training program. From June to September we take advantage of the warm weather by adding a Wednesday evening lake-swim at Ohio Street Beach.
We hold 12 practices a week—each with a different theme (stroke technique, aerobic development, IM workout)—to train well rounded and complete swimmers. The practices provide a structured training environment to hone technical and racing skills, execute them at faster speeds and develop the endurance to nail them at race time. Because of the diversity of swimming events throughout the year, we change our focus seasonally as described below.
January to April (Masters Competitions)
The winter and early spring is the hot time for US Masters Competitions. We focus our training regimen to prepare swimmers for Illinois Masters State Meet and Short-Course Nationals by working on all four strokes, sprints, racing starts, and turns. Triathletes take comfort: we still work on freestyle technique and base conditioning distance sets, and be prepared to strut your stuff in some fast racing sets on "Speed Day." We might even get you on the blocks to do a relay at State Meet.
May to Early September (Triathlon/Open Water Swim)
When May rolls around, we shift our focus to triathlon swim and open water swim training. While some of our members do Long-Course Masters Competitions over the summer, our main focus is on open water swim training due to the number of triathlons and open water/distance swimming competitions in the summer; we incorporate triathlon skills development into our practices; we focus on distance freestyle; and speed days work more on aerobic power development and speed changing (fartlek) training than on classic speed sets. On Wednesday nights starting in June, we run our open water swims at Ohio St. Beach where we practice open water skills, do long swims, and do group activities such as mass start, drafting, and water exits.
Mid-September to December (Aerobic Base Development and Technique Tuning)
The fall is a recovery and ramp-up time for many athletes and CBD is no different. We’ll take some time in the fall to tune up our strokes and get in good shape for the winter months. We run clinics to teach the other strokes and we work on starts and turns in our technique practices. At the end of the fall, those interested in Masters Competitions can get a head-start on the winter by doing some competitions. We finish our fall season with our annual Hour of Power, 60-minute swim for distance. Test your fitness and see if you can go farther than what you did during the summer triathlon season.