Tips to Improve Your Triathlon Swimming Technique
Improving your triathlon swimming technique can have a significant impact upon your performance in triathlon races. Being more confident and better positioned in open water can lead to you exiting the swim less tired as well as helping to position you further up the field and so in a better position on the bike.
Even if you’re doing a pool swim, good technique still has the same benefits.
Triathlon swimming technique is not just about the basics of your stroke, although that is part of it. It is also about psychology (confidence, tactics), and specific open water skills such as sighting, starts, and understanding how water behaves in rivers and the sea.
The team at Sharks Swim & Triathlon Shop have come up with some guidelines for less experienced triathlon swimmers to help to improve their swimming technique during a race.
Improving Your Triathlon Swimming Technique
The first area to address is your basic stroke. Water is such a thick medium to move through that you must have good technique to move efficiently. This means having a good body position in the water (ie streamlined body and legs, balanced head position); a balanced stroke that is controlled and well timed; and strong propulsion using your arms and legs correctly.
In practice these key points will translate into different triathlon swimming techniques for different people, and there are also many different ways of practicing and learning good technique.
Sharks Swim & Triathlon offer training for children and adults through their Swansea Sharks and Swansea TriSharks schools. Training programmes at these schools enable swimmers to really drill down to the important areas of stroke mechanics to help you become a stronger and faster swimmer.
Key Elements to Improving Your Freestyle
There are four key elements when it comes to improving your triathlon swim as follows:
- Hand Entry: Slice your hand into the water right about half way from your goggle line and full stretch, and drive it forward. Many swimmers attempt to get as much "air time" as possible by reaching the hand out before entering into the water, but it is actually more efficient to go through the water with your hand as you rotate from one side to the other.
- Head Position: Keep looking straight down when swimming freestyle. It's important to keep your head down with only a small part of the back of your head out of the water. Also, as you rotate through the water, try not to move your head with the rest of your body rotation.
- Pull: In freestyle, your hands should pull all the way back past your hips. The last part of the stroke before recovery (arms coming out of the water) should be an acceleration behind you, not up out of the water.
- Kick: Try minimising your kick as you train for swimming. Most people will kick extra hard to make up for lack of balance in the water. Minimising your kick will allow you to improve your balance, as well as conserve energy, but only do this if you have a good position in the water (not if you have sinky legs, it is important to kick if your legs sink)
Sharks Swim & Triathlon
If you’re still not sure if your swimming technique is helping or hindering your triathlon performance then give the team at Sharks Swim and Triathlon a call on the number below and they will book you into one of their training sessions: