Triathlon Talk: Improve your strokes with these 3 drills.
I am heading into my 3rd official year of training for and competing in triathlons. This year I hope to complete 2 Half Ironmans and some shorter triathlon events. The more I train the more serious I get about my training. This means learning more about technique, learning more technical terms, and diving into any and all things triathlon. I plan to be sharing what I am learning about triathlon hopefully every Thursday in my Triathlon Talk series. These tips will be helpful for the beginner to intermediate triathlete (someday even the advanced triathlete, but I am not there yet!)and helpful for sprint-Ironman distance athletes. I am not a certified triathlon coach but will be sharing these tips through my own experiences and also through information from my coach, resources from around the web and through talking with other triathletes.
When it comes to swimming I was always a fish as a kid. I practically lived in the water in the summer at our Lake House. At summer camp I was the kid who passed through all of the swimming levels quickly but that’s where it ended. I continued to love swimming but never joined a team or had any additional swim training (perhaps I should have been a competitive swimmer. So here we are many years later and I am 40 and I have taken up swimming as a form of exercise, first to recover from injuries and then when I decided to become a triathlete. Over the three years that I have taken up swimming laps I have had no formal coaching other than coaching via phone and internet. I have longed to find a triathlon training group but since I live in a somewhat remote area this has been hard to come by. I have made progress in my swimming in the past three years as I have taught myself to bilateral breathe and can now comfortably swim over a half ironman swim distance. There is still plenty of room for improvement so it is time to get to work with more drills to work on technique.
Here are 3 drills for improving your freestyle stroke technique:
The purpose of this drill is to work on improving power to your overall freestyle stroke by better learning to incorporate the surface area of your arm to power as you pull through a stroke. During this drill you will swim each stroke with a closed fist thus emphasizing the underarm portion as you pull through the water. By closing your fist (and it must be fully closed) you will eliminate the pull through with your palm and so must pull through with your arm.
Here is the drill in action as shown by Coach Robb on YOUTUBE
Finger Tip Drag
This is a great drill (and one that I need to do a lot of work on) for working on a high elbow during recovery. Your fingertips will never leave the water. You will maintain this position through the dull recovery of the stroke. This drill will help to improve your stroke efficiency.
Catch Up Drill
This drill will help you to maximize your arm reach rather than to swim with short choppy arm strokes. In this drill you will swim with one arm extended outward. Your arm will remain in this position until your other arm catches up when you go to take your next stroke. Once you touch your extended arm you will switch and take a stroke with the other arm, repeating the stroke with the opposite arm extended straight out in front of you.
I hope that these 3 drills will give you something new to work on in the pool! I find that it is always good to have something to focus on and some drills to do to make your swim time a bit more exciting!
What are you currently working on in the pool? Do you prefer swimming in a pool or in open water? What was your last workout?