Beginner Swim Workouts for Triathletes
My last two articles have focused on beginner running and cycling workouts. This article will discuss beginner swimming workouts for triathletes. Swimming is without a doubt the most challenging and most intimidating sport for those new to triathlon (unless of course you swam in high school and college). Running and riding come fairly natural to most people because the vast majority of us grew up riding bikes around the neighborhood and playing sports like soccer, baseball, etc. Sure, we played in the pool but when it comes to swimming efficiently lap after lap most struggle with timing and body position. The good news is that with some practice and some hard work you can become much more efficient in the water and actually come to really enjoy swimming.
The winter is a great time to focus on your swimming and to develop those skills/techniques that will lead to faster swim times later in the year. The nice thing about swimming is that it is so form driven, which means that in the winter months you can really improve your stroke and swim times without swimming really hard. Since this is the off-season you don’t want to be putting in really hard workouts so drill work in the swimming pool is great for this time of year…you work on your form and keep the workouts fairly light.
Here are two workouts focused on swimming drills that will improve your position in the water, work on your timing, and develop a stronger pull.
1. 1500 yards/meters
-300 warm-up with 100 freestyle, 100 backstroke, 100 kick
-2 x a broken 500 (100,2×75, 3×50, 4×25) drill/swim
-200 (50 kick/50 swim)
Drills for the broken 500’s:
100: kick on your side with one arm extended and one arm at your side (rotate sides by 25). Maintain good, high and long body position. Keep your head down except to breath. Here is a demonstrational video:
2×75: by 25 do front scull, mid scull, rear scull (feel constant pressure on your forearms and hands, keep your upper arm (shoulder to your elbow) stabilized, bend at the elbow and work your forearms/hands as one unit, maintain good body position with your head down and lower body high in the water.
3×50: catch-up drill working on the front of your stroke (focus on leading with your elbow). Here is a demonstrational video:
4×25: swim freestyle thinking about the drills you just performed.
2. 1500 yards/meters
-300 warm-up (alternate 50 freestyle/50 backstroke/50 kick)
-10×50 (odd: freestyle, even: drills from workout 1)
-10×50 kick with a board (odd:easy, even: hard)
-200 freestyle maintaining a good kick and high body position.
Kicking is an important exercise for beginners because it teaches you to work the lower half of your body that often times feels like it is sinking. A good kick is essential for propulsion and will help tremendously with your efficiency in the water.
Another suggestion is to use stretch cords to strengthen your functional swimming muscles. I recommend that you include stretch cordz exercises twice a week in combination with your other strengthening sessions in the gym. To learn more about stretch cordz click on the link:
I hope this helps! If you have questions please feel free to contact me at [email protected].