March 2008 Swim Training Chat

author : Tri Swim Coach
comments : 1

Discussion on training for a 5k open water swim, Ironman race swim placement, hammering on the swim during a race, TI swimming, importance of kick sets and rotation.

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[Tri Swim Coach] Aloha!

[TriAya] I'm great! Glad to see you! I'm training for a 5K open water swim in June--ummm ... how do I do that? FWIW I can finish for sure, and I cruise at 1:20-22/100yd in a pool, but ... how do I TRAIN for it?

[Tri Swim Coach] Well you've got time if you start now. Start with lots of stroke drills, say 50% of your workout assuming a 12 week plan. Make sure your technique is rock solid. By week 3 you should be backing off the drills and adding 1 OW or long straight swim every week.  Always do SOME drills to keep technique in order though. For success in a 5k swim you will need to be building up to about 4,000 yards or more per workout, 4 days a week.
 

[TriAya]  Excellent. Great, great info. So, the other 3 workouts--just generally, what should they be?  If (at least) one workout is long/continuous preferably OWS, the other three should be?

[Tri Swim Coach]  Break those down, warm up, drill set, main set, warm down...i.e.  Drill set: 6x75's, kick, Fist Drill, swim, :10 rest between each.

[TriAya] Wonderful. I do plan to incorporate a BIT of the other strokes as well, mainly so I don't shoot myself during this process ... but no more than 25% of any given workout? Or?


[Tri Swim Coach] Perfect! I always encourage training in the other strokes, but triathletes hate that!  So where are you located, where's your 5k?
 

[TriAya] I'm in L.A., it's the Pacific OW Challenge (want to qualify for Gatorman in San Diego, another 5K, need to sub1:45, can do it comfortably but want to do it as comfortably as possible, y'know?

[Tri Swim Coach] Yes, good thinking.

[mndiver] I'm a decent swimmer, but not great. I just did a 2.4 mile swim in the pool in 1:08 something.  Where do you think I should place myself to start an IM swim? Not sure how it correlates to open water.

[Tri Swim Coach] Outside, away from the madness. No point in getting pole position on that first buoy unless you're in it for money.

[mndiver] Add a little more here. I kind of like the jostling, slapping and kicking. Ex football player who takes up plenty of space. Outside sounds good. Would I start towards the front of outside?
 

[Tri Swim Coach] Yes, that would be your best bet.
 

[mndiver] My big worry is that I'll come out of the water towards the front and then I will see lots of people passing me. Hard for me not to chase those people.  I know I need to stay at my pace though or the run will destroy me
 

[Tri Swim Coach] That is the frustrating part of being a good swimmer.  Mentally prepare for people passing you by on the bike. Expect it, or it would be demoralizing when it happens. You have to race your race. Even a 70 year old woman passing you should mean nothing, really (although that one is a bit tough!)
 

[TriAya] So a HIM swim question: I hear from a lot of folks they wished they had hammered the swim more 'cause it's such a short part of the HIM, really ... does that apply to me, too? I suppose I will find out! I mean ... is it really possible to cook myself for the bike on a 1.2mi swim?!

[Tri Swim Coach] Well, you can't win anything on the swim but you can lose a lot! Even if you were in good swimming shape, if you went all out in a HIM swim you could easily be cooked for the bike!
 

[mndiver] I don't think going hard on the swim hurt me at my HIM last year. Going too hard on the bike KILLED me. I knew I was going too hard and turned in a great time on the bike. Resorted to walking the run at about mile 5
 

[Tri Swim Coach] That's why I teach stroke efficiency :)
 

[mndiver] What's your take on Total Immersion?

[Tri Swim Coach] It's great. It's based on some solid swimming fundamentals from the 1970's, some of the stuff I learned as a kid. However, the materials leave out any sort of training plans for the swim.
 

[mndiver] TI taught me how to swim much more efficiently and easier. But it really didn't teach me much for speed.
 

[Tri Swim Coach] Speed does take time. You have to work in lots of "free golf" sets, as well as interval training. Give yourself weekly or monthly goals for your workouts.

[TriAya] Is swimming similar to the bike/run in that you really just need to build up a bunch of volume in order to see improvements in speed? In HS I was a 10k/day swimmer, then nothing for fifteen years, now I'm okay, but should I now return to building a big base again? (Certainly I will do some of that as part of training for 5k OWS)


[Tri Swim Coach] You definitely need to build a base, I would say swimming is even more like that then bike/run! I wouldn't recommend that madness to the general tri crowd though!
 

[TriAya] Oh yeah, no way I would do that now, are you kidding!
 

[Tri Swim Coach] I didn't think you were that crazy TriAya!
 

[mndiver] How about kick sets for triathlete swimming? I barely kick when I swim. Is it worth kicking sets?

[Tri Swim Coach] Kick sets are great if you kick on your side, no board. Kicking with a board is just for "kicks"- social hour or to break the monotony, but does nothing for your swim.

[TriAya] Should the degree of rotation on the axis be as much for a non-breathing stroke as breathing?

[Tri Swim Coach] Yes, it should be about the same. Otherwise, you may over-rotate or reach over too far when you breathe.

[mndiver] When do you recommend sighting in OW. Pre-breath or post-breath or neither?

 

[Tri Swim Coach] Pop your eyes up just enough to see, then rotate for a breath all in the same cycle.

[Tri Swim Coach] Well on that note I must be shuffling along here...


[TriAya] Thank you so much, Coach Kevin!!!

[Tri Swim Coach] Your welcome! Thanks for coming everyone...stay tuned at www.triswimcoach.com 

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date: April 5, 2008

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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