Anyway, on with the business of today's post. I'm linking up with my absolutely lovely fellow Tri Talk Tuesday ladies, Courtney and Cynthia to talk about my least favourite of the three sports; the swim, and how you can improve it.
Of the three sports, I'd have to argue that swimming is the most technical. Moving efficiently through water is much more difficult than moving efficiently through air. At least that's been my experience. I've had to put in a fair bit of work to improve my swim, most of it focused on technique. In order to really improve you have to understand what your body is doing (or NOT doing) in the water. So, without further ado, here are 3 tips to help you improve your swim stroke.
1. Video Analysis with a swim coach.
Yes, this is probably going to be pricey ($100++) but it will be worth it. Swimming is all technique so to have someone point out what you're doing wrong and show you how to correct it is one of the best ways to improve. This won't be an overnight fix, it will take some time and effort as you'll have to practice what you learn. If you don't want to spend the money, you could have a friend video tape you and compare it to video of an efficient swimmer, like Andy Potts. You should be able to see what you're doing differently and work on correcting it in the water.
2. Swim with a Group
I think this applies to all three sports but I found it especially helpful with swimming. If you can, join a Masters swim group. Or a triathlon swim group. Swimming with other people gets you comfortable with having people around you - very important in the swim start of a triathlon. I've also found that I push myself that much harder when I'm swimming with others than I do when I'm swimming on my own. I also didn't have to think about my workouts, they would be written up and posted on the board so all I had to do was swim. I improved a lot when I started swimming with a Masters group.
3. Mix it up.
Don't just swim freestyle because that's what you're going to swim in the race. Learn some other strokes and work them into your swimming. I've found that by learning fly and doing it from time to time really helped with my freestyle breathing as well as pull strength. Doing other strokes also gives your muscles a bit of a break from the repetitive motion of constant freestyle. I make a point of doing back stroke and breast stroke during my warm up and cool down. Sometimes my coach actually has us doing them in the workout.
Are there any other tips you'd add to this? What's worked for you?