Are you trying to learn to swim for a triathlon, but are finding the stroke technique (and other aspects) a daunting uphill battle?
Here’s a break down to help you feel less overwhelmed, and get some basics under your belt.
If you are a true beginner swimmer, you will need at least a couple of months to get yourself up to speed, assuming you are doing a sprint or short-distance triathlon.
But don’t let not knowing how to swim stop you from training for a triathlon!
You will simply have to take a different mental approach to your training.
Swimming will be about maximizing your time in the water, getting a good instructor, and practicing swimming drills as often as possible. You will need to focus on swimming above all other training for the most part. And, you will have to have a lot of patience!
So if you are someone who would like to do a triathlon, but do not know how to swim, here are some action steps to learn to swim for triathlon:
1. Find an qualified instructor. I have several listed on my find a coach page. Or you can check with your local masters swim team which often will have a good coach that may do lessons.
2. Find a pool where you can practice. Somewhere that has a monthly lap swimming plan is perfect. Look for 25 yard, 25 meter, or 50 meter pools.
3. Watch swimming videos to get an idea of proper swimming, as well as what you should be doing. Here’s an example of triathlon swimming, from underwater:
4. Practice swimming drills as often as possible. Once you have ironed out most of the kinks in your stroke, you can progress to adding more yardage to your swim sessions.
5. Don’t put pressure on your first race. Think of it as a learning experience! If you do this, you will have fun and likely enter many more races after that.
Try to avoid being overwhelmed. Swimming for triathlons is a learning process. Take in one “chunk” at a time, and you will get there and before you know it, reach your goals!