December 2008 Swim Training Chat with Coach Kevin Koskella

author : Tri Swim Coach
comments : 0

Discussions on further swim improvements, spicing up endurance swims, kicking for triathlon, pull buoy usage, not moving while kicking and rest intervals for fast/short sets.

Sign-up for our chats with the coaches! 
 

 

[rkreuser] When I finished swimming last year, I was 1:30/100m in whatever length race you want to put me in. It didn't matter, I had endurance but nothing like another gear.  This was in May. Since then, I swim, let's just say, irregularly. Like 10K/month, if that.  So...going into next year, I'm prioritizing effort...and my biggest gains can be made on the bike and run. Run mostly.  If I swim, let's just say, 2K, maybe 3 or 4x per week, how should I focus my swimming workouts?

 

[Tri Swim Coach]  Several things:

  1. Free Golf, move your stroke count down as you decrease or keep time the same

  2. Simply decrease your interval (but not at the expense of technique),

  3. Incorporate strength training into your routine (core muscles!)

[rkreuser] Ok, stroke count is solid already. Decreasing the interval hurts, I'll avoid it like the plague. And strength is happening.


[gobluedds] Any thoughts on making endurance training more fun? I have a swimming background, but was a total sprinter. 100's and 200's in all strokes. All my workouts seem to focus on building speed.

[Tri Swim Coach] Ok, great question about adding fun! Mix up your workouts so you're doing endurance, sprint, kick, and technique work throughout the workout. A good example of a fun set would be 3x200's on your base or cruise interval, 4x50's kick on your side, 2x75's drill, 4x25's fast. Repeat as needed!  Ladders are good but get boring! In my opinion.

[axteraa] Just how important is a good kick for a triathlon? I used to swim competitively when I was younger and was primarily a breast-stroker but my freestyle kick was very weak.


[Tri Swim Coach]  Good question...you absolutely 100% MUST have a kick for a triathlon swim, even with a wetsuit and the buoyancy. BUT, keep in mind that the kick does not give you much propulsion.  Kicking is there to keep you balanced in the water, as well as to rotate the hips.
 

[axteraa] I'm about 2 seconds faster/100 with the pull buoy.

[Tri Swim Coach]  MOST people actually pull faster with a buoy than without, because they don't have to work as hard when they put the buoy on.  So I recommend not using the buoy at all when you swim, because it's like cheating- you will actually be able to work on your balance simply by swimming.

[Matt237] I am a brand new triathlete. I had a ACL/meniscus repaired 3 months ago and I have been doing these workouts here. I am in the middle of month 2. I am having problems getting my kick into shape. Should I just keep kicking a few extra 50m each workout? When kicking with a kickboard I barely get anywhere.


[Tri Swim Coach]  Matt, you likely have runner's kick! In other words, your ankles are flexed and actually dragging you in the water, like an anchor. Ditch the board and do these 3 things to improve your kick:

  1. Vertical kick- kick in place in a vertical position. Point your toes and keep in a straight line. Cut down on the knee bend and keep your head above the surface. Start with 15 seconds at a time. Do a few sets, 3-5 at first. It's a tough drill so you'll have to build up to more!

  2. Use the Zoomers Z2 fins on most drills and any kicking you do. Do not use the fins to go faster swimming.

  3. Stretch your ankles. Simply sit on your feet or just stretch from time to time throughout the day.

[Tri Swim Coach]  Zoomers (and most short fins) force you to kick the proper way, using the proper muscles. They also give you an ankle stretch while you swim.
 

[Matt237] So #1 is done against the wall of the pool?

 

[Tri Swim Coach]  For #1 you need to be in deep enough water, let go of the wall and kick in a vertical position. Cross your arms so you're not tempted to use them to keep you up.

[rkreuser] The ankle stretch I get....but how do they force you to kick properly/

[Tri Swim Coach]  While using Zoomers, you have no choice but to point your toes, and therefore you are doing the kick properly. 

[Matt237] The workouts I do have a lot of pull buoy in them. Time to ditch it I am thinking?


[Tri Swim Coach]  Yes, you will be thankful later as you improve faster without the toys. 
 
[axteraa] How much rest do you think is appropriate for sets such as 10x100m on a quick/fast pace (but not all out)?  I generally do them on 1:50 which gives me about 25 secs rest.
 

[Tri Swim Coach]  Good question. Generally, "base" or "cruise" pace means getting around 5-10 seconds rest per 100, doing about 8-10 100's consecutively. Yeah, you need to decrease the interval. Try 1:40, see how it goes! Just keep the strokes long and fluid...count strokes every once in a while to see how you're doing.

Rating

Click on star to vote
3993 Total Views  |  37 Views last 30 days  |  3 Views last 7 days
date: December 24, 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!

View all 100 articles