Triathlon Swimming Technique – Issue #80

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Triathlon Swimming Technique Newsletter

Dear Friend,

Welcome to Tri Swim Coach if you are a new subscriber!

As my subscribers that have been with us for a while know, this newsletter is foremost about swimming as it relates to triathlon. However, I like to include a little more than just that information, as many of us are in this sport for a variety of underlying reasons, like fitness and the feeling of accomplishment (and the feeling of FUN!).

One of the things I’m setting out to do in the next few years is to show how “no pain, no gain” is actually the wrong way to go about training for anything, or losing weight, or just staying healthy. We often hear about how we should “train hard”, but that saying can even be harmful if you take it the wrong way.

It’s not about training hard, it’s about training smart! That may sound cliché-ish (okay I just made that word up), but it is so true.

You won’t burn as much fat if you train too hard, you will get injured, you will burn out, and you will not have much fun.

To me, the only way to train is to keep your heart rate down. I’m not a believer in doing much sprinting, especially for these crazy long races like Halfs and Full Ironmans.

So far, I’ve had some good results. I have recently taken up distance running. For my first ever half marathon 2 weeks ago I trained for 2 months and did not do anything anaerobic in terms of sprinting or track workouts. I typically ran at a 9-minute mile pace and kept my heart rate aerobic.

While I would recommend doing a little more than 2 months of training for a 13 mile race, I highly recommend the long slow distance training. My goal was to break 2 hours and I came in at 1:40!

This is still a work in progress, stay tuned for more on the magic of “No Pain, No Pain”!


“The more relaxed you are, the better you will perform. Keep your priorities in check and everything should come together; triathlon should not be at the top of the list. Spend quality time on your training and limit the fluff stuff- you don’t need to train 40 hours a week.”
-Long-course star Chris Lieto

Workout of the Month

Yes, the workouts are getting harder…

Cruise= Interval you can make 100’s Freestyle on comfortably, with about 10-15 seconds rest. i.e. 8×100’s on 1 minute, 45 seconds, coming in on the 1:35 each swim.
SC= Count Strokes
Finger Tip Drag Drill= Drag you fingertips across the surface of the water on arm recovery
Free Golf= Count strokes and get your time on each 50. Add these numbers together to get your “score”. Try to lower that score for each 50.

WARM UP: 500 Free every 4th lap SC

DRILL: 8×100’s Odds: Finger Tip Drag Drill/Free by 25’s.
Evens: Fist/Free by 25’s
Rest= :20

MAIN: 3x(2×200 + 4×50) 200’s: @cruise 50’s: cruise + :05,
descend Rest :30 btw sets

STROKE COUNT: 8×50’s Free Golf @ 1:00-1:15

WARM DOWN: 300 Breathe every 3 or 5 Strokes

TOTAL: 3900 Yards

Tip: Cut the workout in half if you are not yet ready for 3900 yards!