Have you felt frustrated with your progress in the water?
Many current and budding triathletes who come to us have.
Here are 5 reasons you may be in the frustrated camp, and what you can do:
- Not rotating enough (or too much):
Whether you are swimming flat in the water or over rotating, you are
wasting energy and losing speed. Ideally, you want to rotate about 45
degrees, so if flat in the water is 0 degrees and 90 degrees is when
your belly button is pointed straight at the wall with your body
perpendicular to the surface of the water, you want to be halfway
between the two extremes.
Obviously, it is impossible to hit this angle exactly and fruitless to micromanage it. Rather, get video taken of your stroke and analyze if you need more or less rotation when you swim without worrying about hitting a precise number.
As we mentioned on the blog on how to use a pull buoy properly (The better way to use a pull buoy), by putting the buoy between your ankles, you will start to feel what it is like to rotate properly and thus be able to pull from lats and hips rather than the shoulders.
- Lacking a high elbow catch and not pulling straight back:
Lack the original article stated, letting your elbow drop and having a
straight arm pull will slow you down. Also, if you are curving as you
pull back, your body position and balance in the water will be thrown
off. Instead you want to keep your elbow high as you pull straight back
accelerating as you go for optimal power.
- Doing drills for the sake of doing drills:
Since swimming is predominantly form based, swimmers need to focus and
hone their form through drills. However, many just go through the drill
mindlessly and check the boxes at the beginning of each workout but fail
to translate this work into their main sets.The reason we do drills is
to give us the feeling of proper technique and body position as we swim.
To achieve this, I like to incorporate drills like the balance and
catch up drill into the main set.
- Not focusing on form:
Drills and form work are not as sexy as 10×100 all out but if you want
to get faster you need to focus on your form throughout your practice.
Every so often, go through a mental checklist and ask yourself: Am I
balanced in the water?Am I dropping my elbow? Am I rotating to maximize
my distance per stroke? Am I rotating to breathe?
- Not swimming enough: It is tough to get to the pool sometimes but the honest truth of the matter is that if you want to get faster in the water you will need to get into the water consistently. It is hard to develop your stroke and keep up your feel for the water by taking several days off between sessions.
What about you?
What are the things that made you faster?