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.
- Review: A big bag of paddles (loneswimmer.com)