5 Triathlon Swimming Mistakes

Triathlon Swimming

5 Triathlon Swimming Mistakes

Simple triathlon swimming training pitfalls to avoid to perfect your swim.

Simple triathlon swimming training pitfalls to avoid to perfect your swim.

Even if you think you’re a good swimmer in the pool, a triathlon swim is a whole different ballgame. Don’t go into it assuming you’ll be fine just because you’re comfortable in the pool. You especially need to avoid making any of these five common swimming training mistakes that could ruin your race.


Not keeping an eye on your technique

Technique is a very important aspect of swimming fast, and it’s also something the majority of triathletes find very frustrating. Sometimes you can be pulling the water as hard as you possibly can, while completely forgetting about what it is that actually makes you swim fast.

What I would say is don’t go to this place too often, where you start to get so tired that you can’t hold onto your technique. Try your best to think about maintaining that high elbow, good body position and long smooth pulls when you’re getting tired at the end of a set. This is also when paddles and pull buoys come in useful. Chuck them on occasionally towards the end of a hard set, so it’s easier for you to hold your technique.


Not enough frequency

Frequency really is key to improving your swimming and consistency will always reward you. Unfortunately it’s easy to lose your feel for the water once you take a little bit of time out and consequently you lose all the hard work you put in.

Swimming is quite a time consuming sport. Once you finally find the time to go swimming, you then have to locate a pool that’s open and has lane swimming, then you have to get there and get back. It’s sometimes more about time management than anything else!

However you have to try your best to go as much as you’re motivated to do. Once you get there make it worth your while with a solid swim and if you can, make sure it’s not long until you go again!


Not having a plan

You should always go to the pool with a swim set in mind. Each session you do should have a purpose and with that in mind, design a set that will help you accomplish that.

This will help keep you motivated because you know exactly what you’re there to do and you’re prepared in the head for what’s coming. That way you’re less likely to short change yourself because you’re less likely to be bored, which means you’ll take what you need from each swim. Usually a swim session will consist of an easy warm up, some sprints, a main set and a cool down.


Not training in your wetsuit

It’s a good idea every so often to train in your wetsuit. This is especially true if you’re wearing a new suit. They are quite often a little bit tight around the shoulders so you should use it for a week or so before to stretch the material a little bit.

Often an athlete is not used to the feeling of swimming in a wetsuit and the arms can get very tired because you’re rotating your arms with the extra layer of neoprene. So it’s useful to get used to the feeling and get that strength in the arms.


Not working your top end

It’s too easy to avoid the hard swim sets in swimming because they normally aren’t so pleasant! Especially if you’re tackling it on your own, but often it’s what you hate that makes you stronger and these are the sessions that really count!

You should always make sure you can swim fast before you bring up the length of the repetitions. With that in mind, fast maximal sessions will raise your engine’s capacity.

Once or twice a week, get yourself super motivated and be prepared to go to your max with some faster repetitions. One of my favourites is the classic 40 x 50’s consisting of:.

16 x 50m, every 4th 50m hard (off 45 sec)

12 x 50m, every 3rd hard (off 50 sec)

8 x 50m, every 2nd hard (off 55 sec)

4 x 50m, every 1 hard (off 60 sec)