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Mastering the Swim: 5 Tips for Beginner Triathletes

Updated: 7 days ago

Dive into Success: Essential Swim Training Tips for Beginner Triathletes

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Are you a beginner triathlete looking to improve your swim performance? Mastering the swim portion of a triathlon can be daunting, but fret no more! Here are 5 key beginner triathlete swim training tips to help you become a faster, more efficient swimmer:


5 Beginner Triathlete Swim Tips


1. Breathe Easy, Swim Strong

Efficient breathing is the cornerstone of triathlon swimming. Unlike leisurely swimming, you'll need to exhale fully underwater and inhale quickly when your head breaks the surface. Focus on a consistent rhythm, exhaling through your mouth and inhaling through your mouth or nose (whichever feels more natural). In freestyle, try a 3-stroke-breath pattern. In backstroke, rotate your head to the side and breathe as your mouth clears the water.

2. Streamline Your Body

Imagine yourself gliding effortlessly through the water. Proper body position is key! Keep your head down, aligned with your spine, and your core engaged to maintain a flat, horizontal body. Hips should be high and close to the surface, with your legs kicking together from the hips, not the knees. Keep your arms close to your body and elbows bent at a 90-degree angle for optimal propulsion.

3. Master Your Stroke

Technique is everything! In freestyle, initiate your stroke with a straight arm reaching forward. Pull back alongside your body with a high elbow and pointed fingers. In backstroke, the opposite applies: reach back with a straight arm and pull alongside your body with a high elbow and fingers pointed up.

4. Train Smart, Not Just Hard

Strategic training is the key to improvement. Incorporate interval training into your routine. Alternate between short, high-intensity bursts of swimming with periods of rest or lower intensity swimming. This builds cardiovascular endurance, increases your lactate threshold, and translates to greater speed and power. Strength training with resistance bands or weights will also benefit your swimming by improving overall strength and power. Consider a swim coach or joining a masters swim team for personalized guidance and technique feedback.

SBR Fun Events host monthly free practice open water swim meetups for triathletes of all levels. You can find more information here.


5. Rest, Recover, and Recharge

Don't neglect recovery! Swimming is demanding, so prioritize rest days to allow your muscles to rebuild and prevent injuries. Take breaks from swimming or opt for low-impact activities like yoga or walking. Fuel your body with nutritious foods and stay hydrated throughout training and recovery.

By following these tips and incorporating them into your training plan, you'll be well on your way to conquering the swim and crushing your triathlon goals!

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