Triathlon swimming training for beginners
Triathlon swim training makes up only a small volume of your training hours. But this doesn’t mean you should forget about it. For mostly 90% of beginner triathletes, triathlon swimming is the hardest discipline to master. Adding some simple tips and tricks can help you reach race day with more confidence in your triathlon swim.
Triathlon Tips for Swimming
You can train all you want, but swimming better often comes from practising proper triathlon swim technique. Here are a few basic triathlon swim tips to get you started.
1. Take your time
Focus on being calm in the water and taking your time with your swim drills. We all want to improve our ability fast but to take your time and to control the basics will give you a boost of confidence.
2. Focus on head position
When you are breathing, try to prevent the urge to lift your head. Focus on turning to the side; this is where your body roll comes into play. Keeping your chin towards your shoulder when breathing and focus on looking directly to the side will help ensure there are minimal changes to your stroke.
3. Entry into the water
Make sure during your stoke that you enter the water with your fingertips first. Doing so will help you get a better “hold” on the water and transition to a better pull. Aim to enter the water slighter wider than your centerline, keeping your arms in line with your shoulders and hips.
4. Focus on hip movement
Focus on rocking your hips with every stroke. The body roll will help you to move your arms smoother and allow for more reach. Doing so will also help you to breathe more accessible and easier to find air.
Triathlon swimming training
With your triathlon swimming training, all endurance workouts are swam on time rather than distance. These workouts are designed to give you a balance of speed, technique and endurance. Doing so will help you to become an overall stronger swimmer.
Not to forget improving your swim mechanics, triathlon swim technique training should also be included in your swimming plan. Include such things as kicking and stroke drills for better technique and speed.
One day a week primarily focusing on your triathlon swim endurance. Start with swimming continuously for 30 minutes. Make sure you start slow and controlled and then build your speed. If you can’t swim the full 30 minutes, start with 10 or 15 minutes.
As you get stronger and more comfortable in the water, you should include the last 5 minutes of your swim at close to 90% of your maximum heart rate.
Increase your triathlon swim intensity
During your mid-week hard training on the bike or run is the time to increase your swim intensity. Your triathlon swim training is going to thankyou closer to the event you get.
Start by warming up for 400 meters then make a 50-meter sprint with 30 seconds recovery. Start with a total of 10 to 12 sprint efforts of 30 seconds. As each week passes, try to add another 30-second interval, but don’t exceed 18 sprints in total. After the first block of efforts is complete, swim easy for 100 meters. Then do 6×25 meters at 45-second intervals. These should at around 85% of your maximum heart rate.
End the session with a comfortable 200-300 meter swim.
If you are completing in a longer distance triathlon such as a half ironman or Ironman, you must adjust the session around slightly.
Start by warming up for 300 meters. After the warm-up focus on 200 meters with a pool buoy then kick for 200 meters.
The main set of this workout should then include 8 x 100-meter sprints with 1 minutes rest between each interval. Each week try to increase the repetitions but not to exceed 16 total efforts. Once the warm-up and main swim set finishes, you can then ease back the swimming and cool down with a comfortable 200 meters.
Add technique training to your swimming
One to two times a week, you need to include some basic triathlon swim technique training into your schedule. Start by warming up for 300 meters then focus on 200 meters drill, 200 meters kick, and finishing with 500 meters with a buoy. Focus on your breathing pattern and try to alternate the sides you breathe on. Also, a good tip is to rotate breathing from every 3 to 5 strokes and alternate this throughout the swim.
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With the constant daily analysis of your training and unlimited contact time, you will have the support and knowledge required to tackle any triathlon event.