September 2007 Swim Training Chat

author : Tri Swim Coach
comments : 0

Discussions on bilateral breathing, working on balance drills, the importance of interval training to improve speed, the importance of kicking and sighting in open water.

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[Tri Swim Coach] Anyone want to discuss their swimming?

[kaqphin] Swimming is my strongest discipline but I got into a really bad habit of breathing on one side. I'm now back to breathing bilaterally BUT one side is weaker. What drills etc do you recommend to get my style more balanced?
 

[Tri Swim Coach] Work on your balance on the weaker side by kicking on your side- head down, belly button pointing towards the side wall.  Also the Shark Fin drill, which I include in my guide is an excellent drill for improving balance and therefore making it easier to breathe on that side.  Use fins when you do these drills- like the short Zoomers.  Actually I recommend staying on one side for a whole length.


[kaqphin] I love my fins! They are my new toy!
 

[Tri Swim Coach] Fins are good! But mostly use them for drills.


[ScotinSeattle] I want to know why I've slowed down an awful lot?

 

[Tri Swim Coach] Try harder :)

[ScotinSeattle] I am...honestly. So hard. I don't have any fat on my back anymore.

[Tri Swim Coach] Actually you may be trying TOO hard.


[ScotinSeattle] Someone else said that to me too.


[Tri Swim Coach] Spend some time working on drills and improving your stroke. Train less, swim smarter!


[ScotinSeattle] I know this sounds stupid but I find all this drill stuff really complicated. I've never really done drills before.

[Tri Swim Coach] Start with the basics....kicking on your side is doable and helps a ton!

[Tri Swim Coach] What other challenges are people here facing?
 

[Writebrained] I am using Total Immersion. And I am SLOW! What gives?


[Tri Swim Coach] Have you mastered most of the drills yet?
 

[Writebrained] Yes. I hired a coach and I've got a partner. I can swim forever but I'm SLOW.


[Tri Swim Coach] Hmm....are you doing interval training?

[Writebrained] Ummmm....no. I do drills and swim for distance. I guess the same rules that apply to running apply to swimming...never connected the dots though....
 

[Tri Swim Coach] In order to get faster you must start doing intervals. Start with a basic set of 5-8 100-yard swims, and just see what time you come in on. Take your average and add 5-10 seconds to it. That will be a good "cruise" interval for you to start with.  Definition of Cruise Interval:  an interval you can make 100’s on with about 5-10 seconds of rest (i.e. 4 x 100’s on 1:45, coming in on 1:35 on each 100. “Cruise +:05” would mean adding 5 seconds to that interval, or in this case, 1:50.)
 

[mndiver] I can swim 1:30's In pool pretty consistently over 200 yards but in open water I have trouble breaking 2:00 minutes...any ideas?

[Tri Swim Coach] Well you don't have walls in the open water so it is much more difficult to keep up the same pace.

[mndiver] Understandable, but the drop in speed seems really harsh.

 

[Tri Swim Coach] Well with a 200 in a 25-yard pool you get 6 walls. That's 6 seconds faster right there. Then you add in the getting tired factor of open water.


[1st Timer in NY] I don't seem to get that "floating" feeling from wetsuit...some said it should almost feel same as pull buoy in pool...but I'm not getting it...any ideas?
 

[Tri Swim Coach] You should work on your balance in the water and not rely on the wetsuit buoyancy, i.e. kicking on your side.


[mndiver] Other question pertains to T.I. swimming. I really don't kick at all in my triathlons and would like to increase my speed. My T.I. coach is a long distance guy who does English Channel swims and advises against using my legs, but I want to get quicker. What is your take on kicking, will it add enough speed to make up for getting tired?

[Tri Swim Coach] You don't need to have a strong kick for a distance swim...just focus on the interval training and keeping your stroke together.  Kicking is used much more for balance and hip rotation than for power in a tri swim.


[1st Timer in NY] Can you recommend a good interval training set say, 2000-3000?
 

[Tri Swim Coach] Start with some 100's. Do 8 x 100's on your "cruise" interval. You should be getting about 5-10 seconds rest throughout the set.


[mndiver] I watched IMAZ yesterday and noticed the pro's seemed to be sighting almost every stroke. Do you recommend this for age groupers or does it throw us mortals too much out of rhythm.

[Tri Swim Coach] I don't recommend sighting on every stroke, although it is tempting when you're out there. It's too disruptive to your stroke to sight that often.


[Writebrained] Some of the swimmers at the pool have horrible technique but swim really fast. Is that a result of simply conditioning? And muscling through their swim workout?

 

[Tri Swim Coach] Right, it's a result of years and years of perfecting a flawed stroke!  But they are often the ones who can't put together a decent triathlon because they are wiped out after the swim!

 

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date: October 5, 2007

Tri Swim Coach

I'm at http://www.TriSwimCoach.com- a resource for beginning through intermediate level triathletes looking for help with swimming. The site features a free email newsletter offering tips and articles on triathlon swimming. I have also written an electronic book titled “The Complete Guide to Triathlon Swimming” and created "The Essential Triathlon Swimming DVD", both available on www.triswimcoach.com.

For a 20% DISCOUNT on Zoomers Z2 fins and Freestyler paddles, go to www.finisinc.com and use discount code ‘aggies20’ at checkout!

avatarTri Swim Coach

I'm at http://www.TriSwimCoach.com- a resource for beginning through intermediate level triathletes looking for help with swimming. The site features a free email newsletter offering tips and articles on triathlon swimming. I have also written an electronic book titled “The Complete Guide to Triathlon Swimming” and created "The Essential Triathlon Swimming DVD", both available on www.triswimcoach.com.

For a 20% DISCOUNT on Zoomers Z2 fins and Freestyler paddles, go to www.finisinc.com and use discount code ‘aggies20’ at checkout!

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