Tag Archives: bucket

It’s a drag! The Bucket

Other people talk about bucket lists, I’ll just talk about the bucket.

It can be any bucket, but once you’ve used one, it becomes The Bucket, your own personal torture instrument.

Mine is that 2.5 litre plastic DIY paint kettle from a hardware store, cost about €5. It has a long string tied to the handle and I attach it the label of my togs (swimsuit) with a simple d-clip. Note, the string needs to stretch further than your feet.

I usually swim a continuous 1500m towing it, which takes 10 minutes longer than usual to complete. That’s a pretty drastic time impact. Follow that with 500 or a thousand metres of pull buoy and paddles, then some paddle work and some kicking and you’ve hit a lot of muscles fairly hard with a low total distance.

Lisa told me recently that she was disappointed in me. Shock! I’d disappointed my swimming hero … by voluntarily swimming with the bucket. :-)

I only use it about once a month, partly because of that time impact, partly because I leave it at home and forget and because yes, it is such a pain.

As far as reason? You have to work hard to pull it obviously. But also I find it very useful for training for rough water. Because of the drag, your body is dragged slightly downwards. To overcome this, you must concentrate on pushing your chest down into the water to get more streamlined and horizontal. With all the extra drag, you think more about your catch and anchoring your hands in the water to pull yourself forward. Every time you tumble turn, you have to be careful to go under it, you have a second of release before you hit the extension of the string and the bucket grabs the water, and you seem to stop.

Not something you want to do regularly, but worth trying if you never have. I guess if you are female and want to use one without having a handy waistband to attach to, a simple webbing belt would work fine to attach to.


Square knot

HOW TO tie men’s swimming togs

You are thinking this has to my most inane post ever. You may be right, though I believe it is possible for me to be more inane. But bear with me …

How do you tie your togs? Granny knot or bow? Well that’s fine. Usually

But there are times when neither of those will do.

The Bucket

Pulling The Bucket requires a well-secured and tight togs waistline. A bow tie will slip unless it’s double-knotted tight which can then be difficult to open.

Also, in Open Water racing, people are not averse to grabbing togs by the waistline either, and pulling the togs down. It’s an illegal race move, but it happens.

What’s the best solution? A simple square knot (often called a reef knot). The easiest way to remember it is:

  • Cross right over left (opposite to a Granny know for most right-handed people).
  • Then cross left of right.
  • i.e. left over right, then right over left.
Diagram of a Square knot (Reef knot)
Image via Wikipedia

I use a modified version. When doing stage two I loop both ends through. So the result is a bow tie knot, but one which is more secure than a standard bow knot tied left over right, and still spills (opens) easily.

Still confused?