I went to the pool this weekend to do some swim filming. I wanted to share a set of swimming drills to help with some common swimming problems I see in triathlon. Please note drills are not meant to be done at top speeds, oftentimes you’ll be swimming at a much slower pace, the purpose is to concentrate on the issue you’re trying to resolve and executing the drill properly. (Check out my new Blueseventy loop dot training suit, I love the cut, very comfortable and a flattering look)
Problem: Sinking hips, legs and feet.
The issue with sinking legs usually has to do with poor head positioning. Many athletes have their head too high in the water and/or are looking forward instead of down at the bottom of the pool (or lake). The drill I chose to demo is pushing a paddle down the pool on the top of my head. This forces you to keep your chin tucked down and eyes on the bottom of the pool, if you move your head around too much or pick it up, the paddle will fall off. To breath you can take the paddle off your head for a stroke or stop and reset the paddle. See demo here:
Problem: Lack of rotation
I see many athletes with poor body rotation. Rotation is important to have the longest stroke possible (for efficiency) and also to take advantage of your strongest swimming muscles, the lats. The drill I chose to help with rotation is straight arm recovery. You swim your normal stroke but instead of just having a high elbow recovery, you recover with straight arms tracing an arc with your hand. This forces you to roll more onto each side. See demo here:
Problem: Elbow drops during pull
This is probably one of the most common problems I see and it’s where athletes will lose the most power. A high elbow catch and pull is important to use the full power of your lats. The drill I chose to help with this is high elbow sculling from front to back with a pull buoy (so you don’t have to think about your legs at all). You start with your hands sculling stretched out in front of you. Your hands and forearms will slowly drop as you start pulling the arms back, keeping your elbows high. Slowly you continue sculling down past your sides keeping your elbows high, fingertips pointing towards the bottom of the pool. Finally finish with your hands sculling back to your legs. See demo here:
Problem: Sore shoulders when racing in open water
Maybe this isn’t an issue for everyone but I always noticed my shoulders would be a bit more sore when I actually race outdoors triathlons. I realized it’s from sighting, which I do in races but not in the pool. To help adjust your body to this I recommend adding a few lengths of water polo swimming to your workout. This will help strengthen your shoulders so come race day your hopefully won’t have sore shoulders going into the bike. See demo here:
The New Bike!
Also for fun, as I promised a few weeks back, I wanted to share some of the details of my new bike! Training has been amazing, I can’t wait to try out my new race setup as well.
- Trek Speed Concept 9.5 – Blue frame with orange decals with orange Lizard Skins bar tape.
- Shimano 9070 DuraAce 11speed Di2 electronic shifting – so excited about this, it’s been amazing, well worth the upgrade!
- Zipp 30’s for Training wheels with Ultegra Cassette.
- Zipp Super 9 Tubular Disc with 22mm Continental Competition Tire and black decals (thank you Gear West for applying these!) – for TT racing. DuraAce Cassette.
- Zipp 808 Tubular Front Wheel with 22mm Continental Competition Tire and black decals – for TT racing.
- Bontrager Hilo RXL Speed Dial Saddle with an adjustable nose, adjusts up to 14 mm!