Triathlon Swimming Tips – Issue #108

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Triathlon Swimming Tips

Dear Friend,

First, if you’ve missed past issues of the Tri Swim Coach newsletter, click on Newsletter Archives to go through and pick up lots of great tips, workouts, and information on how you can breeze through your triathlon swim!

And now for a common problem. Do you find that your arm dropping in freestyle as you take a breath? I see lots of swimmers with this problem, and little do they realize, the cure is available is pretty simple!

Practice these drills to overcome this and improve your stroke:

1. Kick on your side with your arm extended. Belly button should be pointing directly at the wall, eyes at the bottom of the pool, hand extended. When you need air, roll onto your back and grab a few breaths before going back to head down.

2. Shark Fin Drill. Start as in #1. Lift your trailing elbow up, and drag your hand through the water until it gets close to your ear or goggle line (forming a “shark fin”). Slide the hand back along your side, roll up to get air and repeat.

3. 6 Kicks Per Stroke Freestyle. Swim freestyle but for each arm stroke, count 6 kicks. This keeps you on your side longer than usual. Make sure to keep your arm out in front as you do the 6 kicks.

These drills will help develop your ability to be balanced on your side and ultimately improve and correct your arm dropping as you take a stroke or take a breath!

To Laughing at the Water,

“Enjoy the journey, enjoy ever moment, and quit worrying about winning and losing.”
-Matt Biondi, Former Olympic Swimmer & World Record Holder

Workout of The Month

See below for definitions!

WARM UP: 6×100’s #1,2) @Cruise +:20 #3,4) @Cruise + :15 #5,6) @Cruise+:10

DRILL: 8×75’s Kick/Drill/Swim Drill=Free, concentrate on high elbows Rest=:15

MAIN: 1×50 @ 1:00 + 1×50 @ Cruise
1×50 @ 1:00 + 2×50’s @ Cruise
1×50 @ 1:00 + 3×50’s @ Cruise
1×50 @ 1:00 + 4×50’s @ Cruise
1×50 @ 1:00 + 4×50’s @ Cruise +:05
1×50 @ 1:00 + 3×50’s @ Cruise +:05
1×50 @ 1:00 + 2×50’s @ Cruise +:05
1×50 @ 1:00 + 1×50 @ Cruise +:05
50’s on 1:00: SC, DPS
50’s on cruise: Hard, Free on the way up, Stroke on the way down
400 Free Breathe every 3-5-7-3 by 100

WARMDOWN: 200 Back/Free

TOTAL: 3250 Yards


Cruise: An interval you can make 100’s on comfortably with about 10 seconds rest. For 50’s just cut that interval in half.
Example: 6×100’s @ cruise + :20
If your cruise interval is typically 2 minutes (cruise is always freestyle), you would do each of these 100’s on 2 minutes, 20 seconds (2:20)
Stroke: Any stroke but Freestyle (triathletes need a little cross-training occasionally!)

For more, and to order The Triathlon Swimming Essentials, click here!

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