On this podcast, I interview personal trainer and cross fit triathlete Caleb Whitfield. We discuss how he transitioned from CrossFit to triathlon, how much technique work he does in the pool, an overview of the paleo diet that he follows, and more!
Video on CrossFit:
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Whether it’s swimming, running, or biking, make sure you are doing a proper warm down. Most masters swim teams I have been on do a lousy job implementing a warm down into workouts. It’s especially important after you have done sprints and large-effort swims to do at least a few lengths of easy swimming before you leave the pool. In these workouts, you will actually be building up more lactic acid and taxing your muscles more than doing longer distances.
A solid warm down after a workout or race is essential to continuing success in the swim. This will keep your energy up for your next workout, reduce the lactic acid in your bloodstream, and help to keep you injury-free. Typically, 200 yards or so will be enough, but the key here is listening to your body!
I often get asked about what type of weights or strength training helps the most in swimming. The answer is that gaining muscle strength in general, such as working the triceps, will not help you to swim faster (especially when we’re taking distances of 1K or longer!). However, triathletes and open water swimmers can make improvements by working the core muscles (abs, back, hips). This means using the tools in the gym such as exercise ball, medicine balls, Bosu trainers, etc. There are many qualified personal trainers out there that can help you utilize this equipment effectively. Also, in The Complete Guide to Triathlon Swimming, there is a strength training plan with pictures that you can follow along with for an additional edge to your training.
When it comes to burning calories, swimming tends to fall in the middle of running and cycling for workout efficiency. Running tends to burn the most calories per minute, while biking would burn the least of the 3 triathlon legs.
However, the amount of calories burned in swimming will depend on your stroke technique, and of course the type of workout you are doing. Keep in mind, efficiency is what matters, and training in the aerobic zone, or keeping your heart rate low, is going to allow you to burn more fat than doing a sprint workout (or a swim workout with poor efficiency, wasting energy).
To get an idea of how many calories you are burning in a given workout, check out this chart:
For the Complete Guide to Triathlon Swimming and the bonus book Burn More Fat, see www.triswimcoach.com/complete_guide.php
In this episode, we’ll cover:
Swimming and Golf: How are they similar and what can triathletes learn from this?
Question of the week: How to avoid sinking hips
Fins, snorkel, and Freestyler paddles can be found at www.finisinc.com for 20% off using discount code ‘aggies20′.
The Triathlon Summit, free interview with Kevin Koskella Triathlon Summit Interview with Tri Swim Coach
The Tri Swim Coach Newsletter Signup: www.triswimcoach.com/newsletters.php
No Doubt- “In My Head”
Especially as a beginner swimmer, it can be difficult to measure your progress in the pool.
Most triathletes tend to get caught up in how fast they are going.
“My 400 time is too slow!”
“My base interval is too much!”
“I’m the slowest in my group! Old ladies are passing me up!”
Being obsessed with any of the above can lead to discouragement in swimming. Also, these are the wrong things to be focused on if you really want to progress quickly in the water.
So what should you concentrate on to get faster if not getting faster itself?
It’s the small things that count. Think more in terms of drills and stroke technique, especially if you are not from a swimming background:
1. How balanced are you in the water? Simply logging pool time and practicing the kicking drills will lead to noticeable improvements within just a few sessions.
2. Is your kick moving you forward or are your feet acting like anchors? To test this, do some kicking on your back. If you are not moving forward, it’s time to start stretching out your ankles and drilling with Zoomers!
3. How many strokes does it take you to get from one side of the pool to the other? This is a little more advanced, but it’s a good gauge of your progress. Look for small improvements here. If your range is typically 25-27 strokes per length, shoot for 23-25 as an average. Notice how you are achieving a lower stroke count, by extending, gliding, and rotating your hips.
For 20% off Zoomers Z2′s, check out www.finisinc.com and use code ‘aggies20′!
What you need to know about kicking for your next triathlon swim.
Notes from show:
Get Zoomers Z2 fins at 20% off from www.swimyourbest.com, use code ‘aggies’ at checkout.
Music: The Crystal Method, “The Bones Theme”
The Essential Triathlon Swimming DVD from www.triswimcoach.com. This video features swimming drills in the pool, open water tips and advice, and how to set up a training plan for any length triathlon swim. Check out triswimcoach.com for more info and to order!
I’m working on a new product currently to make it easier for swimmers to not just remember specific helpful swimming drills, but to have a description and a picture or two to bring with them to the pool. And, of course, these drill cards will be waterproof!
There will likely be a total of 10 cards with a drill on the front and the back. There will be tabs so you can quickly flip to a specific drill (or number in the sequence).
I’m looking for some feedback! What would be most helpful with these cards? The picture above is just a sample of the design I’m looking at. I’m planning to use a white background for the actual drill cards.
Thanks for your help!
In light of all the questions I get related to what to do to build strength for swimming, I have decided to create a dvd on strength training for triathlon, with a swimming emphasis.
I am currently consulting with some top personal trainers to develop the ideal program that will help triathletes gain strength for swimming, with the ability to just spend 20-30 minutes a couple of times a week, targeting mostly improvement of core strength.
I’m looking for ideas from the general swimming and triathlon community on this topic. What has worked for you in the past? What would you like to see in a video on strength training for swimming and tri’s?
I want to make sure I’m covering all bases and offering a fantastic product that will really help triathletes, especially for swimming.