October 30, 2017 - Swimming: The triathletes most hated adversary! Don't kill yourself this offseason mindlessly flogging away at massive amounts of yardage. SWIM SMART! Swimming faster with less energy is the key! Water is WAYY denser than air.
Swimming. For many triathletes the most annoying part of the sport. Spending hours upon hours wet and cold only for marginal improvements. For many swimming can be frustrating. “Why are people way less fit than you are faster than you?” “Why am I swimming 6 days a week and not getting any faster? Actually getting slower!?” The resolution I often hear is, “I am going to swim every day this offseason”. Volume is not the answer. Swimming more is less productive than swimming smarter. Your problem lies not in swimming fitness, but mostly likely in technique and mobility. Here are a 3 keys to develop a better swim in the off-season. [Notice swimming 40k a week is not listed here]
1: Ditch the equipment. Time to work on your feel in the water.
-Equipment is great…for building strength, power, and speed. However, all of that is
rather pointless without perfecting your stroke first. Also increases risk of injury.
2: Work on your body position and your rotational stability.
-All great swimmers have different strokes, with 1 thing in common. Amazing body position and body control through the entire stroke. Take a video, analyze it. Many times the fix is as simple as working on mobility.
3: Work on your kick. Your kick is one of the most powerful tools in swimming.
-You don’t need a 6 beat kick. The kick not only propels you forward, the kick is key stabilizer to offset your rotation. A hip driven stroke is massively more efficient.
[Bonus tip]: DO FIST DRILL!
-Swimming with your fists closed is such a powerful tool for developing a better stroke. SLOW DOWN WITH THIS. Your forearm is the pulling tool NOT YOUR HAND.
Take a different approach this off-season and ACTUALLY improve your swimming without increasing volume. The tips listed above are some of the most effective tools I used at The University of Colorado Boulder throughout 3 years of coaching. The most important result was rare occurrence of injury; an added benefit being countless new team records.
If you are interested in revamping your swim, or a video technique analysis, Contact AJ Baucco Coaching
-Christopher J. Lee:
Triathlon Coach with AJ Baucco Coaching
Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist,
Corrective Exercise Specialist,
Functional Movement Systems Lvl. 1,
B.S. Exercise Science & Physical Education,
Former Head Coach University of Colorado Swimming,
Stages Cycling Certified