There are a variety of training plans and materials out there that attempt to guide you to train for a triathlon swim. However, a lot of them are vague and confusing, or just plain inadequate. “Swim for 30 minutes” isn’t really a good form of a swim workout, and neither is “Do 1800 meters”. When setting up your swim workouts for your sprint triathlon training plan, there are some specific things you need to keep in mind.
What I see as missing in most plans are two things:
1. Structured workouts
2. Dryland training
Let’s focus on the first one today, structured workouts. What are you missing?
If you are training on your own, you are most likely just swimming laps, or maybe adding a few sprints or some basic interval training. But, do you know for sure that any of that is helping your swim? It could all just be spinning wheels, so to speak.
First, make sure you are doing drills. I have a ton of drills in my products, and throughout triswimcoachonline.com. Start with the basics and get your balance in order. Don’t worry about overdoing drills, most people don’t do enough, so spending a little extra time improving your stroke will usually pay off.
Second, be sure to do some interval training. This will improve your endurance and get you going a little faster when you have to make intervals. But don’t overdo it here. This is just part of your swim workout, and it’s not everything. Some days, it may be better to give yourself rest intervals (i.e. 10×100′s with :30 rest in between) and do some lengths at 90 or 100% (i.e. last 25 at 90%).
Third, don’t forget to have fun! Do what you can to make your swim workouts enjoyable, rather than just grinding out yards. Doing a lot of distance swimming won’t help you if you are doing it mindlessly and because you think you “should” be doing it. Ideas for fun: do strokes besides freestyle. Kick with a board and chat with your friends. Put on some fins and do some underwater kicking. Do some “deck ups”. Drink a beer after every 500 yards you complete. (Joking! Although, that would make things interesting. ;) ).
Next time, we’ll get into some dryland workouts that can not only make things fun, but can take your swim to the next level- and allow you to cut down on endless laps.
Head over to http://triathlonsprinttraining.com for free info on training for a sprint triathlon!
Here is a podcast I did on a fundamental question for triathletes focusing on swimming for triathlon: Is swimming your favorite part of the race, or do you dread it? Please comment below!
Here’s a short video I did a couple weeks ago on swimming for triathlon tips.
Hey guys it’s Kevin here at Triswimcoach.com and I wanted to talk today about a question I had come up on podcast a few months ago where I had listeners send in questions and I answered them on the podcast. If you want to see that, it’s at triswimcoachonline.com and just click on the podcast menu tab up at the top. The question that came up over and over, and you can see it in the blog, is basically how do I get faster? It is kind of a general question, but a lot of people asked it in various ways like what should I do with the pull, how should I do the arm recovery, how should I kick and things like that, but it all led to how do I get faster?
There is one thing, one thing that you should be doing to get faster in freestyle, and this is something that a lot of people, most people don’t do, especially the triathletes and the beginner triathletes, are really not doing this in their stroke and I see this all the time. I’ll demonstrate it. It’s called the high-elbow catch and I’m sure a lot of you listening or watching out there have heard this term before but it doesn’t really make sense unless you see it. I’m not at a pool right now; I’m in my apartment as you can tell so I can’t demonstrate it in the water but I’ll show you just from a standing point, how the high elbow pull or the high elbow catch should look and then I’ll explain why this works better than, and this is the number one thing you should be doing.
Basically what you want to, if I’m coming towards you, let’s say in the water, I’m first, let’s start with head position, I’m going to have my head down. I’m looking down at the bottom of the pool. My hands going to come up here and I’m going to enter into the water and then I’m going to extend that arm so as you can see my arm is off a little bit to my right and then as soon as you extend you want to bend that elbow. Again on camera here, you want to bend that elbow right away. It should look something like this. Your head is down and your elbow is bent and then you are going to pull all the way back. You are pulling back to an extension point here right about at your hip or as far as your hand can go and then
you are going to lift your elbow out of the water again. The main point is extend that arm out in front and then bend the elbow and pull back.
It sounds simple and it may even look simple but when you try it in the water it’s a different ball game. It is something that you have to work on regularly. You have to practice it and it’s not going to come easy at first, but eventually you’ll get it.
The reason that that works is you’re getting the catch up there. You’re getting the most amount of water up here and that’s where you want to pull. A lot of people will extend their arm in the water and the elbow just drops so they’re not getting a lot of propulsion out of their pull.
That’s basically it. There you have the number one way to get faster in freestyle. It is a stroke technique tip, so we’ll talk about workouts down the road, but that’s something to start with from the very beginning if you are working on your freestyle.
Thanks for watching and go ahead and check out http://triswimcoach.com to get more tips on getting
faster and improving your freestyle for triathlon.
Thanks again and we’ll talk to you soon.