Triathlon Swimming Equipment – Issue #81

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Triathlon Swimming Equipment

Find Your Next Race

Dear Friend,

It’s that time again in North America…triathlon race season!

I recommend finding a race or races now and getting entries in for 2 reasons:

1) Many races fill up fast, and getting entries in now for summer races will allow you to do the one or the ones you want

2) As soon as you write the check and drop your entry in the mail, you automatically will have put yourself in motion to train. For some that just means it gets you off the couch and out the door!

A great website that lists races throughout the U.S. and the world is It’s the ultimate triathlon calendar!

Now is the time to start really taking care of yourself. That means eating right, getting enough sleep, and getting on a consistent schedule!

And, there is still plenty of time to be able to “Laugh at the Water” in your next race. Keep reading….


“It’s the little things you do that can make a big difference. What are you attempting to accomplish? What little thing can you do today that will make you more effective? You are probably only one step away from greatness.”
-Bob Proctor

Stroke-Fixing Paddles

I have been against the use of paddles ever since I suffered a shoulder injury in college, and the one thing that aggravated it was doing pulling sets with paddles. I stopped using paddles then and continued to get faster, with no shoulder problems.

No reason to use them, I thought. Even forgetting about the shoulder problems, I was against the concept behind most paddles: use them and become stronger in the water. Strength is important but paddles are not the way to develop it!

I changed my mind when I started practicing with the Freestyler paddles from Finis. These are completely different from traditional paddles. In fact they are designed specifically NOT to cause shoulder problems!

What I like about the Freestyler is that its purpose is actually stroke technique and efficiency improvement, the most important aspect of training, not strength. They force you to bend your elbow and enter your hands in the water at just the right angle, and give you the feeling of being on top of the water with a long stroke.

For beginners, using these paddles with Zoomers fins is an excellent way to produce the long, gliding stroke that is essential to succeed in triathlon swimming.

For intermediate or more advanced swimmers, use just the paddles on your long swims to keep your stroke in check.

I recommend doing a workout in this order to get the most out of the equipment:

1. Start with warm up and drills
2. Main Set with no equipment
3. Straight swimming with paddles (and fins for beginners), possibly working on breathing and keeping a low stroke count.
4. Warm down with no equipment.

The warm down at the end should feel like you are gliding on every stroke, and the changes the paddles forced you to make are being reproduced without them, and you will have almost instantly made improvements to your stroke- without a coach or guide of any kind!

To order the Freestyler Hand Paddle as well as Zoomers Z2 fins, click here. For a 20% discount on your order, make sure to type in discount code ‘aggies20’!

Question of the Month

This month’s question comes to us from Brooke Pedersen of Australia:

Q: Do you have any tips to increase my strokes from 3 per breath to 5? What’s the key to getting to that level? Also, what about trying to calm myself down running in the water and putting my head down to start swimming – I seem to get out of breathe because its such a fast start.

A: Work on some of the drills like kicking on your side and shark fin for a while. This will help with your balance in the water. Try breathing every 4 strokes before you jump to 5. In fact, start with breathing every 2 strokes, and build to 3 strokes. Getting to 5 is not necessary, especially in the early stages of your training.
For Tri starts, stay to the outside at the start- away from the 1st buoy. You will find cleaner water there without chaos!

Article Reference:

7 Tips to Surviving the Tri Start