Freestyle Stroke for Beginners – Issue #149

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Freestyle Stroke For Beginners

Dear Friend,

What a month! We just last week finished the re-launch of TriSwim Pro…we now have quite a group of triathletes putting in the work to make swimming easier and get faster.

We had a great chat last night with some members. I’m loving some of the progress so far and chatting with beginners who have so much improvement ahead of them. (I was also excited to find out that the sport of triathlon is increasing in popularity in China, and if there is demand I may offer some of the materials in Chinese!)

Today is also the beginning of open water swim season for me. I have my first swim in the ocean tonight with a group. I have a brand new Nineteen wetsuit that I’m going to try out, stay tuned to the blog at to read my review!

Let’s tackle this swimming/triathlon issue that keeps coming up: should you try to change your stroke and start focusing on drills when there are only a few weeks until your race?

Freestyle Stroke for Beginners

The answer is: Absolutely shoot for the most stroke improvement possible, even if your race is just a few days away. HOWEVER, if you only have say a few days up to 5 weeks or so, making major changes and improvements will be a tough task. I recommend, in that case, to focus on 1 or 2 aspects of freestyle (i.e. more glide, better kick), and work those while you keep your yardage up leading up to your race.

You can do this by adding specific drills to your workouts, and thinking about your stroke while you do your long swims.

So if you are that close to your race, do what you can, take the race on as either a good practice or a chance to try out your new improvements, and have fun with it. Once the race is over, you can start revamping your stroke from the beginning, or you may want to wait until after your last race of the season for this. Major changes to your swim stroke will take about 3 months to implement and 4 months to show big improvements, but that doesn’t mean to ignore swim technique!


“I learned that the richness of life is found in adventure…It develops self-reliance and independence. Life then teems with excitement. There is stagnation only in security.”
-William Orville Douglas

Triathlon freestyle from the ground up!

Workout of the Month

Sighting work for your next race, breathing to both sides.

Cruise= an interval you can comfortably make consecutive 100 yard swims on with about 5-10 seconds rest.
Distances in yards or meters.

Warm Up: 300 stretch it out, breathe on your weaker side on even lengths

Drill: 5×100 Rest= :15
First half of each length swim with your head up out of the water.
Notice the feeling when you bring your head back down and become more balanced.


200s: On your cruise interval. Just make the interval and focus on hip rotation.
100’s: Practice sighting. Pick an object on the pool deck. Pop your goggles above the water, spot that object, and roll to take a breath all in one stroke. Practice sighting every 4-6 strokes for these 100’s. Take :20 rest between each.
50’s: Sprint. Take :30-1:00 rest between each. Finish hard. These are 95% out.

Depending on where you are in your training, you can do the above set twice for more yardage.

Warm Down: 200, breathe every 3 strokes and stretch it out.

Total: 2200 or 3400

Coming Soon: The Tri Swim Coach iPhone App!


Kevin Koskella
Tri Swim Coach