As technical as sport of swimming can be, it is tough to narrow down answer to often-asked question, “what should I concentrate on?” So, I came up with a “top ten” list of steps to improving your swim for a triathlon. These aren’t necessarily in any order, but should go a long way in helping you achieve your goals, whether you are a beginner or trying to go pro.
1.Hand Entry. Slice your hand into water right about at your goggle line, and drive it forward. Many swimmers attempt to get as much “air time” as possible by reaching hand out before entering into water, but it is actually more efficient to go through water with your hand as you rotate from one side to other.
2.Head Position. Keep looking straight down when swimming freestyle. It’s important to keep your head down with only a small part of back of your head out of water. Also, as you rotate through water, try not to move your head with rest of your body rotation.
3.Pull. In freestyle, your hands should pull all way back past your hips. The last part of stroke before recovery (arms coming out of water) should be an acceleration behind you, and not up out of water.
4.Kick. Try minimizing your kick as you train for swimming. Most people will kick extra hard to make up for lack of balance in water. Minimizing your kick will allow you to improve your balance, as well as conserve energy.
5.Training Intensity. The best way to measure your training intensity is to count your heart rate immediately after each swim. You can estimate your heart rate by counting your pulse rate for six seconds immediately after each swim. Add a zero to this count, and you will have your approximate exercise heart rate per minute.
6.Master’s Swimming. Move to a slower lane to work on stroke improvement. If you belong to a masters team, don’t feel that you always need to keep up with your lanemates at every workout. Masters teams typically have many people with many different swimming goals. It’s important to do your own thing! Remember that technique comes before all else and if this means swallowing a little pride to make improvements, just think of how much faster you will be for this in long run.