How minimalism can help your swim

Posted Ella Villas Articles

You may have recently heard of the idea of “minimalism”- where the idea is to pair down your possessions to just what you need, so you can focus on the more important things in life- like the people around you, and the experiences you can have.

This idea applies so well to swimming and training!

While other programs are focused on swimming in general, in Tri Swim Success, we break things down to the essentials in triathlon swimming.

Here are some principles to live by in your training, taking the minimalist approach of doing just what is important and no more:

You don’t need to do everything competitive swimmers do. There is a myth out there that all swim training is created equal. Not so! A triathlete has different needs from a competitive swimmer, who has different needs from a fitness swimmer.

Most athletes who come to Tri Swim Coach want to get faster- but also want to eliminate the things that are holding them back- like sinking, breathing, and open water swim anxiety. We start with these areas that may be dragging someone down first, then add in speed-focused workouts later.

You don’t need all that equipment. We like fins, but outside of that, suit, towel and goggles are all you really need to succeed in this sport. The best wetsuit in the world is not going to make you a better swimmer, kick boards tend to be crutches, and pull buoys are almost always misused by triathletes! As you progress, it can be fun to add in various equipment for very specific purposes, but going minimalist is your best bet as you progress early on.

You don’t need to do a certain amount of yards/meters each week. This is a myth left over from the 1980s, when workout distance was king, and technique was an afterthought. I know, I lived through this and there were times where my coach had us doing 20,000 yards per day! Some people are also fixated on time- such as, “I must swim 1 hour today!”

This type of training may be a boost to your ego, but it will not help your swim one bit- especially if technique is sacrificed (and it almost always is). Tri Swim Success workouts are focused specifically on what you need for your next triathlon, not a yard or meter more!

The idea here is to focus on the things that are important. And this may vary a bit from person to person.

But we know in order to be successful, your training has to fun, doable, and specific to the event or events you are working towards.

Otherwise, befriending the water will be an uphill battle.

All the best!