From what we see at RG Active, swimming is often the most daunting part of the triathlon. However it is also the shortest leg of the race so as far as the training is concerned it you need to balance the volume of swim training you do, so you’re comfortable on race day.
We also can’t stress enough how important it is to have experienced open water swimming prior to race day. The environment makes it so different to swimming in a pool; pair that with a mass swim start and it is normally where people panic the most. However, with a little bit of practice, it doesn’t have to be that way! Open water swimming over the last few years has become a very popular stand-alone sport in its own right.
STRUCTURING SWIM SESSIONS
RG Active meet a lot of people that plateau with their swimming or has seen no progression in their speed or swim times. Nine times out of ten on asking a few more questions and delving a little deeper one or two common themes occur.
- The frequency of swimming– they tend to swim once a week or stop completely over winter. Swimming once a week may maintain some level of swim fitness however it will have little impact on your feel for the water and technique improvements. If you really are wanting to improve your technique try and get in the water at least 3 times a week.
- Not structuring sessions- just swimming mindless lengths to hit a certain distance. Often people will go and do lane swimming and just count the lengths until they have swum 1km, 2km or whatever the distance. However, this doesn’t challenge the pace at which they swim and often instils bad technique habits that can be hard to fix.
By structuring your swim and incorporating some drills and sticking to strict turnaround times even if you swim by yourself in a public swim session you can see improvements.
If you aren’t able to find a suitable group swim session to attend in your area it would be hugely beneficial to get feedback from a coach as to the corrections, you should be working on and drills that may help you do that. If you can get a 1-2-1 session in to get this feedback even better and that will give you something to go away and work on.