Swimming Training for a Triathlon Newsletter
Last night in the beginnertriathlete.com chat, someone asked me what he should do for his swim training with only 6 weeks before his Ironman race.
Of course the answer to this will depend on how much the person has done to that point. Ideally, a minimum 12-week training plan is best for any length of triathlon.
But let’s assume this guy was not doing much in the water, say 1-2 workouts a week of around 2,000 yards each.
And, let’s assume he is swimming flat in the water and could use lots of help on his technique.
My suggestion is to do this:
For week 1, focus on 1-2 aspects of your technique. It may be simply focusing on getting a slight hip rotation with each of your strokes. Or maybe it’s getting a nice glide and pull with each stroke. During this week, don’t do a lot of swimming but focus on drills for your workouts.
For weeks 2-5, slowly build up your endurance by adding distance to your workouts and decreasing the interval. Slowly! Make sure you are counting your strokes during this period and keeping up the improvements to your stroke you make in week 1.
For week 6, slow down on the interval training and drop your yardage back to whatever the length of your race swim is. Again, keep the technique in tact.
After that first week, don’t try to introduce any new improvements. There won’t be enough time to implement them. The offseason is a good time to work the drills big time and hit the gym (more on this soon)!
Enjoy & Laugh at the Water!
“Knowing a great deal is not the same as being smart; intelligence is not information alone but also judgment, the manner in which information is collected and used”
-Dr. Carl Sagan
Tip of the Month: Use Fins
I remind people of this all the time. A lot of triathletes I know own fins, but use them incorrectly or not at all! Fins are fantastic for doing most of the essential drills with. They allow you to focus on the drill itself and body position, rather than getting you out of breath by having to kick too much to keep from sinking.
I recommend the Zoomers Z2’s. I’ve seen many swimmers make nice gains with these doing the side kicking, shark fin, and hip rotation drills. The extra benefit to the Zoomers are that they will give your ankles some needed flexibility to improve your kick.
Just don’t be tempted to wear fins when you swim. They don’t allow fins in races, unfortunately!