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Master Open Water: Conquer Triathlon Swims with 3 Proven Drills!

📸 Ruth Rickey female triathlete triathlon Swim Training in Pool
📸 Ruth Rickey Triathlon Swim Training in Pool

Triathlon Swims: Conquer Open Water with Simple Proven Drills


Ready to crush your triathlon swim? Master breathing, kicking, & open water navigation with these simple drills!

Swimming is the cornerstone of triathlon success, but just logging laps isn't enough. To conquer the open water and achieve your race goals, you need drills that hone your technique and address specific weaknesses. Ditch the generic advice and dive into these triathlon-specific drills designed to transform your swim game come race day.


Breathe Like a Champion: Master Efficient Breathing


Unlike running or cycling, swimming requires unique breathing techniques. Efficient exhalation is key to preventing fatigue and maximizing oxygen intake. Conquer the exhale with these drills:


  • Basic Drill: Hold the pool edge, face in the water, and exhale continuously. This reinforces the "face in, breathe out" habit, preventing breath-holding and its associated discomfort.

  • Advanced Drill: Form a T-shape, drop into the water, and exhale steadily while maintaining calmness. This advanced technique improves breath control and prepares you for the demands of open water racing.


Watch this video for a clear demonstration: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ouVb1M4KqH0


Kick Your Way to Tri Swim Victory: Fix Sinky Legs & Boost Speed


Drag is your triathlon swim's worst enemy. In water, your body loses buoyancy, leading to swim drag by sinky legs and hindering your speed. Combat this with focused, correct kicking:

  • Starter Drill: Use a board and snorkel. Kick from your hips, focusing on keeping your upper body stable and feet close together. This builds core strength and proper kicking form.

  • Progression: Gradually ditch the board and fins, aiming to kick across a 25m pool under 40 seconds with just a snorkel. This progressive challenge improves your kicking power and efficiency.

  • 6/1/6 Drill: Kick six times on one side, take one stroke in the middle, then kick six times on the other side. This drill develops balance and focuses on hip-driven kicking, crucial for propelling yourself forward.

Watch this video for the 6/1/6 Drill progression: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vkcnLkHImo&t=8s


Triathletes getting ready to enter open water swim leg of a Triathlon Race


Open Water Master: Drills for Triathlon Success

Pool drills are great, but open water racing presents unique challenges. Bridge the gap with these drills that will prepare you for triathlon racing and open water scenarios:

  • Deck Up Drill: After a pool swim, simulate a race transition by getting out and jogging for 10 seconds. This builds the skill for a quick, heart-rate controlled switch from water to land.

  • Mass Start Simulation: Gather a few fellow swimmers to practice navigating a crowded start. Get used to occasional contact, bubbles, and the general chaos of a triathlon swim.

  • Sighting & Buoys: Practice swimming four-five strokes of freestyle and then three strokes of breaststroke/tarzan swimming for several 25s. This improves sighting, speed control, and maneuvering around buoys and other swimmers.

Visualize the intensity of a triathlon swim start: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WLtCGn2_Qt0


Remember Triathletes:


These drills are for swimmers with basic in-water comfort and endurance. Beginners, focus on getting comfortable first, then gradually incorporate these drills into your training plan.

With consistent practice and the right drills, you can conquer the open water and achieve your triathlon goals! Start training today and dominate your next race!

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Feb 25
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

these work for sure

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