For many, swimming is the toughest disciplines of a triathlon sprint. The sport requires endurance and experience on the participant’s behalf. If you are thinking about improving your chances in the swimming circuit, there are several tips you can apply, no matter whether you are a professional or a beginner.
Minimize your kick
People tend to kick extra hard to compensate for the lack of balance in the water. As this undoubtedly a waste of energy, it makes sense to minimize your kick to preserve energy and, in fact, improve your balance.
Control the movements of your arm
Many swimmers, amateur or not, have the habit of crossing the arm over the opposite side of the pull. This normally happens when the swimmer goes to breathe.
For example, breathing on your left side results in your right arm crossing over and vice-versa. A simple solution is to ensure your head doesn’t move with the rest of your body, and trying to pull more in a straight line.
Work on your breathing
Controlling your breath is important for swimming. A great and efficient way to work on your breathing is to incorporate some hypoxic training sets into your workouts. For instance, you can start by doing a set of 4×100’s breathing every 3, 5, 7 and 9 strokes by 25, with 15 seconds rest in between each 100.
Count your heart rate
After each swim, count your heart rate to measure your training intensity. To do so, count your pulse rate for six seconds. Then, add a zero to this count — you will have your estimated exercise heart rate per minute.
Pull your hands
When swimming freestyle, your hands should pull all the way back past your hips. Before recovery, the last part of the stroke — the arms coming out of the water — should be an acceleration behind you rather than up out the water.
Train, train and train
Triathlon coaches recommend working on the weakest discipline. If swimming is the weakest, you should work on improving your stroke. Spend the time in the pool working on your weak spots and putting these tips into practice.