Efficient Triathlon Swimming – Issue #150

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Efficient Triathlon Swimming

Dear Friend,

You may have been training for weeks or months already, but now it is 2 weeks before your race and it’s time to think about resting. Many triathletes find this more difficult than swimming 5,000 yards, biking the hills, or running a half marathon!

Here are some things to keep in mind if you are beginning your taper or rest period before your race.

Efficient Triathlon Swimming

1. Do longer warmups and warmdowns.

You can keep your distance up, but start to add more to the beginning and end portion of your workout. This ‘active rest’ will assure that you are well rested for your race but not out of shape.

2. Avoid big meals and sugar.

Tapering is an adjustment for your body, and your immune system may not be as strong during this time. Big meals and carbohydrates like sugar will wear your immune system and leave you susceptible to the cold and flu. Keep in mind that as your workout intensity decreases, you must decrease calorie intake accordingly.

3. Get as much sleep as you can before midnight.

Ideally, get to bed by 10:30pm. The sleep you get before midnight is the most crucial to your recovery. You will feel more rested if you can do this for at least 2 weeks before your event.

4. Lay off the strength training.

This is more of an individual call (some people feel better if they are doing some strength work all the way up until the event, others will be too broken down unless they take a good 2 weeks off), but at the minimum, you should go lighter in the weeks leading up to your event.

5. Avoid caffeine.

It may be tough if you are a coffee addict, but 2 weeks of not having that morning cup will give you more natural energy for your race. Take it from 6-time Ironman champion Mark Allen-he practiced this for every race and it worked pretty well for him!

6. Increase your meditation or yoga.
Less time working out means more time to prepare mentally! If you don’t do yoga already, don’t start now. However, find some quiet time during the day to get away from work and working out to clear your mind. Think about how easy that swim will be since you are well-prepared with Tri Swim Coach!

You will have more energy during your rest or taper period. Don’t be tempted to use it! Save it for your event and you will be glad you did.


“…Everything can be taken from a man but one thing; the last of the human freedoms–to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
-Viktor Frankl

Triathlon freestyle from the ground up!

Triathlon Training for Real People

Are you tired of following your training plan into the ground? Of tracking things like miles and shoes and tire PSI, yet losing sight of work, family and friends? You are not alone.

A growing percentage of triathletes are walking away from the high-volume, mega-mileage programs of the past. The “new” training trend maps much better with the basic demands that we all juggle on a daily basis. While there are many different ways to crack the nut on building training fitness by leveraging intensity. the best plan for you is going to be very specific.

Enter “Competitive Triathlon in Ten Hours A Week.”

Written by Patrick McCrann, an elite triathlon coach with over 8 years of coaching & racing experience (including three trips to Kona), this unique manual includes everything you need to create your own focused training plan for a triathlon of any distance. Patrick has distilled years of knowledge gained from helping Age Group triathletes just like you into this simple and effective guide.

The first half is all about the big picture planning process and how the Ten Hours System works.

The second half includes the Excel Spreadsheets and step-by-step instructions that will guide you to making your own personalized training plan!

You can watch a video of Coach Patrick explaining the highlights of the Ten Hours system here:

Ten Hours A Week Preview

In his most recent UPDATE, Coach Patrick has added additional resources and even a full “Rockstar” Version that includes a 30-minute Jumpstart phone call to get your training dialed in!

To get your latest copy of Coach Patrick’s 10Hours A Week training system, click on:

Visit the Ten Hours Website

Be sure to use the code 10HOURS to save 10% at checkout before July 15th!

Swim Tip of the Month: Where to enter your hands in the water in freestyle

A few of the Tri Swim Coach members were asking me last night about where exactly to enter their hand in the water in freestyle. There’s a mistaken notion that the hand should enter right in front of your head. After all these years, even I have a habit of doing this!

So here’s how to figure this out. Start with exaggerating the hand entry. Slice your hand in right about where your goggle strap is- next to your head. Then, with each stroke, reach out just a tiny bit more, until you find a place where it feels comfortable. Remember, you will be slicing your hand into the water and forward as you rotate your hips.

Good luck with this one!

Coming Soon: Upload your own video & get your stroke critiqued by Tri Swim Coach!


Kevin Koskella
Tri Swim Coach