Triathlon. The Swim.
I have to admit even though I have been having ongoing troubles with my back my body is welcoming the forced break from the pounding of running. Swimming has been my saving grace this winter. Being in the pool I am pain free as my body is supported by the water. Being able to get my endorphin rush without the pounding and compression on my lower spine has kept me strong and fit and sane as the snow continues to fall.
If you didn’t know by now I am training for my first Half-Ironman (Timberman 70.3) at the end of this summer. I hope to do some other triathlons this summer (mainly Olympic distance) as warm-ups before the half. I will have to play it by ear depending on how therapy with my back goes. So for now its the pool and bike.
My swims this winter have consisted mainly of endurance swims and pace swims. I have also been doing a lot of drills to help me with form and to encourage more strength through each stroke. I work with a coach (Denise Goode, The Sustainable Athlete) but since she lives in Maine the coaching is mostly online (I am happily welcoming in person coaching this May at a Tri-Training Camp!). I also swim my laps on my own in a mostly empty pool which is nice because I never have to share lanes but I wish I had a Masters group to swim with. I know that I am a solid swimmer but haven’t had any formal training so am not sure if my form is correct and what needs to be improved. In order to make improvements I have been watching a lot of online drill videos and practicing some great drills in the pool.
3 Essential Swimming Drills
Here are some drills that I have been using in the pool to help me with the swim part of the triathlon:
- Tarzan Swim–Think swinging from vine to vine with arms outstretched except this time you are in the water! In this drill you will practice freestyle swimming with your head out of the water. This drill is a lifesaver when it comes to open water swimming. You may need to swim like this at points during the race when the water is choppy or when you need to sight the next buoy. Swimming like Tarzan will strengthen your back, your neck and give you strength for kicking.
- Single Arm Swim–A freestyle drill. Swim with one arm straight and the other arm in traditional freestyle strokes. This drill will help to strengthen your arms and also to help you balance your muscle strength in each arm. Follow a regular stroke/breath ratio but on one side.
- Catch Up Drill–Work on body alignment and stroke and breathing timing with this drill. Fully extend one arm in front and take a regular full pull freestyle stroke with the other arm while maintaining the extended arm. Once you have completed your pull through with your first arm you will end with that arm fully extended and will repeat a pull through with the other arm.
Thanks for joining me for Tri-Talk Tuesday. For more Tri-Talk and talk about the swim head on over and visit one of the three cohosts to join in– You signed Up for What?, Blisters and Black Toenails, The Tri Girl Chronicles.
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