How to Train For the Swim Portion of a Triathlon

by Pool Builders on 06-29-2010 in Articles

If you think that you can just jump into a pool and swim the distance that you need to finish that distance in a triathlon you are greatly mistaken. You need to practice correct stroke technique many times the distance that you are needing to finish during a triathlon so you do not find yourself panicked when it comes time for the big day.

If you are planning to jump into a pool and swim lap after lap without paying attention to technique this will do little to improve your overall performance in a triathlon. The swim portion of the triathlon is the shortest of the three events that make up a triathlon therefore you want to spend the least amount of energy on it. You have to cycle and run after the swim portion so you need to reserve your strength and stamina for these events.
The key to training for the swim portion is to practice technique before worrying about speed. The more efficient and smooth in the water the better your swimming will be.

At this point you are probably growing fearful of training for the swimming portion of the triathlon. You don't need to be. All you need to remember is that training for the swim portion is less about the distance that you swim and more about how you get there. Technique, technique, technique! During your swim training you will break into sets; these are designated distances followed by rest periods. You will also have drills that help you build strength and endureance. These are also followed by periods of rest. If you are short on time, you should focus on swimming drills in order to build strength instead of just swimming to swim.

A training session may look something similar to this:

- Warm-up: Swim four lengths of the pool.
- Drills: Swim eight lengths of four drills for two lengths each. You may get to choose drills the drills that you complete. If you do get a choice, be sure to chose the drills that will help you most with the areas that you are struggling the most with.
- Main Set: Swim four sets of eight lengths each with a small 20 second rest in between.
- Cool Down: Swim four lengths of the pool focusing on technique.

By the end of this workout you will have swam about half-mile. This is a structured way to get the most from your swim workouts. Keeping to this structure will help you keep track of the distance that you have swam while working on technique and building strength and stamina.

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