Cross Training Special: Vasa Swim Trainer and Neat Swim Gadgets

Offseason training is risky business. You're in a unique spot where you have all of last year's fitness, and none of the inspiration needed to build on that and push into the next year. Let's face it, there are just way too many things you'd rather be doing than hill intervals in January, or bike/run bricks 16 weeks before your first race day. Compounding this, if you hit it too hard, too early, you run the risk of burnout or injury.

I gotta believe that this isn't a problem that just us amateur professional athletes face. I think everyone with sporting aspirations from Ethan Brownlee all the way down to Team Scrappy has trouble focusing this time of year. Well, as I see it, there are really only two solutions to this pickle, Dick.

1. You can be foolish enough to sign up for a draft legal race in March to force you to get off your big bubble butt and train (Check out the USAT Draft Legal Tri for your first chance in 2011 to race with Brett and I!).

2. You can supplement your standard routine with some fun cross training and gadgets. Lets face it. Toys are fun.

While I could go on and on about the great cross training opportunities this time of year (hooray for snow), I thought it might be fun to look at some swimming options that you might not know about. This month we're going to run through a few neat swim toys that are reasonably priced and can help you build strength, balance, and rote muscle memory.

Stay tuned for more on the following swim gizmos, which will get reviewed in the order they can be acquired. Still looking for a Vasa trainer.

VASA Swim Trainer

Swimmer's Snorkel

Tempo Trainer

Bungee Chording

Big Baby Diaper Drag Suit

Piddle Paddles for Pulling

Robocop Arm Braces

Rocket Man Arse Fins

Cinderblock Booties