Improving your triathlon swimming technique can have a significant impact upon your performance in triathlon races. Being more confident and better positioned in open water can lead to you exiting the swim less tired as well as helping to position you further up the field and so in a better position on the bike.
Life of Tri has teamed up with Sharks Swim & Triathlon to highlight the key areas less experienced triathletes should focus on to improve their triathlon swimming technique. These areas will provide the foundations for a good body position in the water; a balanced stroke that is controlled and well-timed; and strong propulsion using your arms and legs correctly.
There are four key elements when it comes to improving your triathlon swimming technique as follows:
Hand Entry: Slice your hand into the water right about half-way from your goggle line and full stretch, and drive it forward. Many swimmers attempt to get as much “air time” as possible by reaching the hand out before entering into the water, but it is actually more efficient to go through the water with your hand as you rotate from one side to the other.
Head Position: Keep looking straight down when swimming freestyle. It’s important to keep your head down with only a small part of the back of your head out of the water. Also, as you rotate through the water, try not to move your head with the rest of your body rotation.
Pull: In freestyle, your hands should pull all the way back past your hips. The last part of the stroke before recovery (arms coming out of the water) should be an acceleration behind you, not up out of the water.
Kick: Try minimising your kick as you train for swimming. Most people will kick extra hard to make up for a lack of balance in the water. Minimising your kick will allow you to improve your balance, as well as conserve energy, but only do this if you have a good position in the water (not if you have sinky legs, it is important to kick if your legs sink)
Sharks Swim have an online store that sell a wide range of swimming gear, for more information check out their website at www.sharksswimshop.com Sharks Swim also offer swim training for triathletes in the South Wales area – for more information go to Swansea TriSharks.