How to stay afloat while swimming – Issue #160

Posted admin Newsletters

How to Stay Afloat While Swimming

Dear friends,

Have you ever had a problem with sinking in the water?

A lot of my beginners struggle with this, especially when they start doing some of the early drills.

And if they haven’t practiced the drills enough, the sinking will continue on and plague them in their swim!

First of all, sinking is normal! Most of us sink and especially triathletes who often have low body fat, or just have not been in the water much in their lives.

Sinking can also happen if you’ve taken some time off out of the water, and you’re jumping back in again.

Here’s a quick overview of what to do and what not to do if you are a sinker:

How to Stay Afloat While Swimming

1. Do not reach for “floatation devices” like kick boards and pull buoys to help you out. These will only give you a crutch and make it harder to stay at the surface in the long run.

2. Practice drills! Specifically, work on the drills in the free “online clinic” you get by signing up for this newsletter (side kicking and shark fin drill).

3. Use fins while drilling! Zoomers are great and don’t worry about becoming addicted to them- you will improve your kick using Zoomers and they will allow you to do proper drills.

4. Do not kick harder to avoid sinking. This will only tire you out. Keep your kick light and rythmic. Again, use fins if this is a problem for you.

5. Get plenty of air. While doing drills, the point is not to get out of breath. Get all the air you need here. For swimming, ideally you will breathe every 3 strokes. However, do not think that this is some kind of rule that you can never break! Especially for the beginners, it is okay to breathe every 2 strokes or whatever is most comfortable at first while you get used to swimming, and while your endurance improves.

Why Do Interval Training?

My friends over at have come out with a training tool for cycling and running that I think is not only really cool, but something everyone should be doing if they are wanting to improve their times!

Why should you incorporate interval training into your workouts?

Well, here are 12 reasons:

1. You will get faster – which is why you should be doing interval training in the first place.

2. Climbing hills will be easier.

3. You will be stronger and faster in every other form of cardiovascular activity. Swimming, cycling, running will be much easier. Your fitness and performance will improve quickly.

4. Perhaps the biggest and most important benefit of interval training is the increased efficiency at which calories are burned and cardiovascular health is improved.

5. The fastest way to raise VO2 max, the standard measure of aerobic fitness, is through interval training.

6. Changes in the body come mostly from interval exercises. You will have a toned and lean body.

7. Interval training also helps prevent injuries that are often associated with repetitive endurance exercise.

8. Variety alleviates boredom and promotes motivation, as a result, exercise sessions are more pleasant and comfortable.

9. Your resting pulse drops. The more blood pumped per beat the LESS your heart needs to beat each minute.

10. You can work out at your own fitness level and modify your workouts as fitness improves.

11. Recovery time improves with interval training. Recovery is critical for triathletes and multi-sports athletes.

12. You will feel amazing for the rest of the day!


Workout of the Month

Warm Up: 3×150’s Loosen, focus on high elbow pull

Drill: 8×50’s
Alternate 3/4ths Catchup/Swim by 50

Main: 3×300’s
Rest= :30
Use high elbow pull to get faster on each 300
4×25’s build to sprint on the last one (but keep your stroke together!)
Rest= :10

Warm Down: 4x50s easy, focus on hand extension

Total: 2050 Yards

By the way, if you’re not listening to my podcast, you should be! I just interviewed a triathlon coach out of LA that is great with the mental game, and I’ve got a couple more interviews coming up that I can’t wait to do- one about “swimming fast vs. surviving the swim”, and yet another triathlete who eats paleo-style.

That’s it for this week, have a great week of training!

Coach Kevin