If the swim portion of a triathlon is what is holding you back it’s time to overcome your fear of swimming and dive in! Your fist step to becoming a master of the lane lines will be finding a good swim suit after that there are a few other items you may want to add to make your time at the pool the most productive. Check out What’s In My Swim Gear Bag to get you started.
Now that you are decked out and ready to go let’s talk swimming. Swimming is often the most intimidating portion of triathlon, that is because swimming is not a natural movement. Every kid grows up running, and most are introduced to a bike at an early age, but for many, a lack of confidence in the water keeps swimming from being a primary form of exercises. Swimming is a full body exercises that involves a great deal of movement in the transverse plan of motion (rotational) vs. running and biking which operate heavily in the sagittal plane (forward and back motions.) Waters is roughly a thousand times denser than air, making your mechanics in the water that much more important. The only way to get hydrodynamic and swim like a fish is to work on form. Because of this you have the most to gain in terms of efficiency and speed by slowing down and learning to swim right. The following are my top three way’s to improve your form and become more confident in the water.
Find A Coach
If you are just getting started in the swim forget about hammering out lap after lap with the hopes that shear will power is going to improve how you propel yourself through the water. If you are practicing with poor technique you are further ingraining that technique. While there are plenty of worthwhile drills you can practice to improve your form, nothing beats working with a good coach. If you can afford it, hire a total immersion swim coach for a private lesson. A good coach will be able to look at your form, and give you personalized feedback of how to improve. Many coaches will even take under water footage of your stroke to help you see where things are going wrong. Having this outside impute will do wonders for your technique. Your coach will be able to teach you specific drills to improve your deficiencies. While you may initial slow down, you will be shocked at how quickly your swim can be transformed. You may need only a handful of sessions to completely re-make your swim.
Try Swimming With The Masters
Can’t afford your own coaching session? Try signing up for a masters or triathlon swim class. While you won’t receive the same level of personalized attention, if you find a good coach you should still get helpful feedback. Swimming with a group has the added benefits of a little good old fashioned competition. Not to mention the comradery and additional motivation. You are less likely to skip a swim session if you have friends waiting for you at the pool. Head over to U.S. Masters Swimming to find a group near you. As a for warning the masters are FAST, but don’t feel intimidated, they are also warm, friendly, and always looking for new members to join the tribe. Brush up on your lane line etiquette and you will have no problems jumping in! Take advantage of all their swimming expertise to really polish up your swim.
Triathlon Swim drills
Still planning on swimming solo? Incorporate these Triathlon Swim Drills in your warm up to tune up your form.
Don’t let the swim leg keep you from Tri-ing this summer. Get out of your comfort zone and try brushing up on your swim technique. You may be surprised when this cardio exercises that was once your nemesis, becomes your new love.
The swim drills listed above are my staples but there are many more out there. What is your favorite swim drill?
Need help getting started on your triathlon training? Check out my Coaching Page or send and email to firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more about my customized triathlon coaching programs.