Triathlon swimming: how to train for races


Swimming is the most technical discipline in triathlon. ”If you ride the bike a lot or run a lot, gradually, you will do it better and quicker. But the swimming is different: it’s either you do it technically correctly, either just a lot”, said the Olympic champions and triathletes, Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee.

In order to swim effectively, quickly, but in an energy saving mode, the experienced sportsmen suggest to start off with the swimming mechanics. There are three key moments to stress: stroke, catch and pull phases.

    The uniformly accelerated stroke will increase the swimming speed. To achieve this, swim smoothly, pushing the water gently. Keep a high elbow position: at the level of the middle vertical body line. At the moment when the wrist reaches the abdomen, you should speed up the arm.The arm above water should move freely and relaxedly. You may keep it straight, in order to efficiently distribute the effort.When the arm reaches the head, maintain a medium distance from the shoulder to the wrist. In such position you will be able to keep the right direction and without side-to-side play.

    What else should you pay attention to?

    Be mindful of what happens under the water. It is at this phase that all propellent movements are formed. In order to develop effective movements, train your arms, shoulder and core muscles, using additional equipment, the paddles, for instance.

    Minimize the legs movement. Many swimmers tend to use their legs more actively to keep the body balance. However, the less legs movement, the better body position. Use a pull buoy to learn maintain a good body position in the water.

    How to train for races?

    It is a myth that the triathletes’ path is difficult and exhausting. To become a triathlon amateur and stand at the starting line of a race, 2-3 months of competent and regular sessions is required (except for IronMan races).

    You should practice swimming twice a week for 30-60 minutes. Follow the pattern below for learning a good technique and resistance:

      Power training. Warm up: 10x25 m, swim one pool length quickly, the other - slowly, repeat 10 times. The main drill: 40x50 m, swim using the paddles and the pull buoy. 10 seconds rest between reps.Time and endurance training. Swimming series: 16x25 m, speed up at each fourth stroke, 12x15 m, speed up at each third stroke, 8x25 m, speed up at each second stroke, 4x25 m, swim on speed. 20 seconds rest between the series. Last drill - 3x 200 m, use the paddles and the pull buoy.Endurance training. Main drill: 8x400 m, each second rep is performed using paddles and the pull buoy.

      While training in the pool, keep in mind that during open water swims other obstacles will arise: wind, current, waves and other participants. Therefore, learn to increase your cadence or stroke rate.

      In addition to swimming sessions, practice running (twice a week) and cycling (2-3 times a week, 2 hours each). In the second or third month of training, start combining all disciplines in one training session. In this way your body will get used to the variable working load.

      On 14 July 2019, you will have the chance to see what you are capable of in triathlon. On this day, the Moldovan Triathlon Championship with Olympic distances - Triathlon Triumph - will be held.

      The registration is now open!

      For more details, visit the official website