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7.Habit: Keep your arm from crossing over. One of most common bad habits I see in swimmers is arm crossing over to opposite side on pull. Breathing on your left side results in your right arm crossing over, breathing on your left side results in your right arm crossing. Often times this happens when one goes to breath, but sometimes it's caused just from over-rotating. To avoid this, make sure your head isn't moving with rest of your body, and try to pull more in a straight line (still bending elbow) and ending pull on same side you started (i.e. right hand slices into water, pulls back and hand ends up near right hip).
8.Keep Feel. If swimming is your toughest sport, it is important to "keep feel" for water, and get in water at least every other day (no, showers and baths don't count!) This way, your body maintains its kinesthetic awareness of being balanced in water.
9.Work Those Lungs. Mix in some hypoxic training sets into your workouts. For example, do a set of 4x100's breathing every 3-5-7-9 strokes by 25, with 15 seconds rest in between each 100. Your lungs will thank you for it towards end of swim part of your race!
10.Work Your Weakness. In sport of triathlon, most coaches agree that you should spend most time working on your weakest of three sports. For many of you this will be swimming! Within swimming, same concept applies. Spend most time working on weakest part of your stroke. If balancing on your side is an issue, do some kicking drills on your side. If moving your head is a problem, focus on head position most of time. Whatever it is, you will gain most by spending your pool time improving on that weakness.
Kevin coaches masters and triathlete swimmers in San Diego, CA. He operates the website www.TriSwimCoach.com, a resource for future or current triathletes looking to improve their swim. The site features a free email newsletter offering tips and articles on triathlon swimming. Kevin has also written an electronic book titled “The Complete Guide to Triathlon Swimming” which is sold on his website www.triswimcoach.com in downloadable form.