Beginners Guide to Swim Training for Triathletes

by Pool Builders on 10-18-2010 in Articles

The swimming portion of a triathlon can be the most difficult part of the triathlon for most new triathletes. Nearly everyone is capable of running and cycling with little experience, however, getting into the pool can be a daunting endeavor for those without swimming experience. This article will give a few tips on how to train most efficiently for the swimming portion of a triathlon.

1. Proper Equipment: A swimmer needs a racing suit and a pair of well fitting goggles.

2. Dynamic Warm Up: Static stretching prior to aerobic activity has been shown to decrease performance. Any static stretching should be done after your workout.

3. Pool Warm Up: If dynamic stretching has been completed prior to a pool session, it is unnecessary to spend a large quantity of time warming up with slow swimming. Triathletes must make the most of their time in the water and wasting it with a long pool warm up is a misuse of time. I would recommend spending no more than 5 minutes warming up. I like to mix in drills and sculling in my warm up.

4. Technique Work: Improving your technique can shave minutes off of your swim. Pick 3 drills and master them. Time spent working on drills during every workout can be more beneficial than just straight training.

5. Work All Four Strokes: If you are capable of swimming all four strokes: butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke and freestyle, you should incorporate them into every workout. Although, you will only use freestyle in a triathlon, training all four strokes works different muscle groups and makes you a stronger, more complete swimmer.

6. Interval Training: Interval training is a set that alternates level of intensity and time. The possibilities of interval training are only limited by your imagination. Interval training will lead to improved endurance, speed and fitness level.

7. Warm Down: The purpose of warm down is to remove waste products, including lactic acid from your muscles and allow the heart rate to return to its resting rate. However, a lengthy warm down in unnecessary if you are not tapering.

Be patient with your training. Swimming is a difficult sport to become proficient at, especially if it is first undertaken later in life. Keep it simple, but stay with it and you will steady improvement.

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