My swim tips…
April 4th, 2011 by Will
I’ve been swimming for 19 years but I’ve never been very good…
I work very hard in the pool but it’s still always been a struggle for me.
If all the ITU guys in the world did a test set in the pool I’d probably in the bottom 20% in ITU racing.
Sometimes I beat guys out the water who are 3mins faster then me over 1500m.
At the weekend though I got out of the water in 3rd spot. People don’t know how I do it!
Here’s a few tips from me.
1. GET SOME STRENGTH…
Especially for Triathletes, sometimes it seems like a never ending battle to get a strong arm pull in the water. I think it’s mostly because cycling and especially running makes our pull weak. So do something about it.
You can do more swimming….but this is very time consuming!
My tip is to get good at CHIN UPS. The likelihood is you’ll be rubbish at them if you are a weak swimmer but slowly build up and progress. I do 4 sets of 8 pulls every week alternating grip. Make sure you take as much rest as you need.
Compliment it with other strength work in the gym like Latt pullovers and push ups.
In my opinion it’s pointless banging out big swim sets and struggling through unless you are swimming with good technique. So my advice is get in the pool and just work solidly on your technique. If you have an easy swim planned then warm up with some easy swimming and then do as many drills as you can cram into 2k.
I do (50 drill, 50m swim) x 20.
Mix it up with catchup, single arm (by the side), single arm with paddles, doggy paddle, polo, sculling, double arm underwater pull, shark fin drill, leg kicking rotation drills. Get someone to watch you…
3. DO THE BEST SET IN THE WORLD
Long warm up.
5 x 100m with around 6mins rest. (from a dive, going as fast as humanly possible)
Long warm down.
When Rick set me this set my performance in races jumped up massively. As long as you give it your absolute all it really develops you swim speed and power in the water. I always raced well after doing this set!
4. DO A MORNING SWIM BEFORE THE RACE
Before you have your breakfast before the big race. Try to get in the water and do up to 800m of very easy swimming and drills. This will activate a good technique and you’ll feel much better when you dive in for the race for real!
One thing I do if I am staying in a hotel which has a small pool is tie one end of an inner tube around my legs and the other end around the steps and thrash out some strokes!
5. BE CONSISTENT
Swimming needs your constant attention, so get in the water as frequently as you can. Even if its just 1000m’s in you lunch hour it’s still worth it. Olympic level athletes are doing at least 5 swims a week of 5000m +
Think yourself lucky that you’re not an Olympic level swimmer, some have to do 80k + weeks!