Seven tips to improve your swim stroke in time for your next triathlon.
~By Sara McLarty
When you're really hungry and you don't have a lot of money, you go for the value meal. Whether it's a sandwich, a side salad and a drink or whatever, the value meal usually gives you the most calories for the least amount of money.
An oddly similar phenomenon happens during swim training as well: You are hungry for improvement in your swimming yet have a limited budget of time and knowledge to spend on it. It's a sad reality, but most triathletes just don't have the time or money to invest in a good swim coach to watch and correct their strokes. Sometimes the closest thing to a coach available is a spouse, training partner or lane-mate who may share a piece of advice during practice. Athletes training solo can glance over at the faster swimmers and try to mimic their smooth strokes or, as a last resort, one can utilize swim tips from a world-class swimmer in a triathlon magazine
Read on at Triathlete Magazine
Dan Martin is a participant in the January Jam and we thought we'd let other participants know what he is up to:
An extreme test of both physical and mental resolve to circumnavigate the globe, combining an epic journey with the ultimate endurance sport:
~By Jay Swift
Dedication, determination, and singularity of focus define what it means to be an endurance athlete, a definition that is the mirror image of a CrossFit athlete. As a coach and athlete who trains and competes in both the CrossFit and endurance realms I see the similarity as uncanny. Yet the question still remains. Why is it so difficult to convince the endurance community that training with intensity is the answer? It is fear of the unknown and the change such a shift in thinking will cause to the endurance community. Most importantly the Ironman community, whose books, videos, coach's, and training camps preach long slow distance training as the canon of endurance racing. Yet there is a schism taking place and some are proving there is another road to be traveled.
I'm not sure what to say about this one, a tragedy, but am wondering how and why this actually happened...
PEWAUKEE, Wis. -- An investigation is under way after a triathlon participant drowned in the middle of a race at Pewaukee Lake.The victim was identified as Daniel Murray, 33, of Milwaukee. The race director said it was Murray's first race.
More than 1,400 athletes took part in the race.
Read on at WISN.com
From Sports Illustrated: Watch over the next few years to see how far their dreams will carry them--to college stardom, professional titles or Olympic gold.
Lia Neal, 14 (Photo)
Lukas Verzbicas, 16 (Photo)
~By Sue Sotir; Minute Man Masters
Triathletes come to your practice and want to focus on freestyle (only), can't understand why one or two practices isn't enough and sometimes even bring along a workout their tri coach has given them. So what's the deal?
Coach Sue provides some key corrections to focus on to keep your triathletes engaged and improving...
Read on at USMS
~By Dave Petkovsek, Dynoswimmer
2,300 athletes lined up on the beach in Panama City Beach. It was a picture perfect day on the 1st of November, the gulf was flat and clear water temp in the low 70's and air temp about the same. Records would fall today.
I edged twords the front of the swim start and as the cannon went off so did the 2300 swimmers at one time heading out on a 1.2 mile loop to be repeated. I was in the mix with 100's of swimmers and swam most of the 1st full lap in complete contact with other swimmers the whole time. It wasn't until about ½ way through the 2nd lap before I could stretch out and get into any kind of rhythm. The water was so clear that as I exited the water I started to stand thinking I was in two feet of water to find out it was six feet deep.
Out of the water I was into a mayhem of chaos in the changing tent. The IronMan volunteers are incredible. I have never done any other race that is so well organized. An army of volunteers is there to strip you wetsuit and take it away, find your biking gear and get it to you, help you dress and send you off with well wishes.
The bike was flat and fast. 112 miles; at 70 miles I was still averaging 22 mph and feeling good. I backed off a little for the rest and came in with a 21 mph average for a 5:20 bike split. I was thrilled going through transition 2 as I was 20 minutes ahead of goal time 12 hours.
~By Haydn Wooley
Ever been half way through a hard swim or kick set and all-of-a-sudden, whammo - your calf tightens up like someone just kicked you? Well, that type of cramping is such a common complaint that I hear it at least once in every squad session. The good news is that it is quite easy to diagnose and also easy to fix, if you can be honest about what you feel.
Read on at Swim-City
Dan Cerasale was so taken back after reading this book, that we asked him to review it. Dan's a passionate and accomplished runner, a triathlete, and some time Masters swimmer. In fact, at the time of this blog publishing, he'll be in the midst of a 24 hour 200 mile relay!
What I Talk About When I Talk About Running
~By, Huraki Murakami
The alarm goes off. It is 32 degrees outside. 15 minutes later, cold weather gear equipped, sleep still in your eyes, you head out. Your lungs burn for the first 10 minutes adjusting to the cold air. You nimbly dodge ice patches and hop over snow chunks. People drive by in salt crusted cars with their mouths agape and look at you like you are totally insane. You give them a smile back, a wave if they are lucky. People always ask you... why would you do that to yourself? The only answer I can give them is I really like to run. That is what this book is about. If you are a runner than you know. There is something about running that you just can't describe to someone who doesn't run.
Huraki Murakami is well known throughout the world. He has won a plethora of literary awards for his often extremely imaginative fiction. This book, however, is non-fiction. It's more an account of a couple years of his life that encompasses races, memoirs, training, self discovery, all through running. It is not only an exploration of himself through running, it explores all of life's questions and idiosyncrasies.
I think the pacing of the book is it's one flaw. Like a hilly run, it has its ups and downs, its faster paced sections and it's slower paced sections. All in all, if you are a runner, it's a must read!
John Schwarten, a member of the Westport Swim Club swam the swim leg of the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon held last week. One caveat is that the bike and running legs were completed by his kids - a great family event! Read what John has to say:
~By John Schwarten
What a great event! Not being able to run (torn ACL) was of course a disappointment, but the swim was a blast. The race started with some waves and a strong tide that more than compensated for them. With over 1500 people on the boat, getting everyone off in less than 8 minutes made it look like lemmings (see youtube video). The anticipation and crowded conditions put adrenaline levels absolutely off the charts. This is the coolest race I have ever done. I cant wait until next year to do the whole thing.
~By Tim Sheeper
Late-in-life swimmers getting into triathlon ought to develop four behaviors in order to achieve full personal potential:
Perseverance, Confidence, Passion, and Play
A strong core will allow you to keep optimal body alignment for whatever you’re doing (swim, bike or run), and this in turn will reduce your fatigue in the long run.
"If your core is weak, nothing else can be strong"
~By Justin Maguire
Well, at least how to nab a trophy for your mantel. As races dole out more prizes, and the Web makes it easier to scope out the competition, more amateurs are perfecting the art of finding the easy win.
This training plan is written to prepare you for your first Ironman. While just a beginner’s plan, the hours per week start at a significant 8 hours.
~Written by Scott Herrick exclusively for Beginner Triathlete, LLC
2.4mile Swim | 112mile Bike | 26.2mile Run
This training plan is written to prepare you to finish your first Ironman. While it is just a beginner’s plan, the hours per week start at a significant 8 hours and quickly move up to 15-18. You should already be consistently training 8-10 hours per week before beginning and ideally you should have completed some Olympic distance races in the past season and a half Ironman race would be even better.
~By Brad Culp
May 4, 2007 -- Plenty of triathletes are willing to do whatever to takes to become faster and more efficient in the water. They join the local masters team, they do all the right drills and they listen intently to their coach’s every instruction. Even with that kind of focus, these triathletes still struggle with the opening leg.
Originally posted April 28, 2007 @ 4:18pm
A Dynoswimmer (guess who) is thinking of taking the plunge, and moving over to the other side. Could be a great opportunity to expand some horizons and get a better understanding of the challenges some of our swimmers face outside of the pool.
Any advice for a veteran swimmer evolving into a newbie triathlete?
Here's another question for you bike snobs:
Orbea. Road or tri?
So I wanted to thank everyone for offering me such great advice both below in the comments section but also from all the great emails and phone calls. I really feel that I've made the right choice, and it sure helps a lot when you can weigh the pros and cons of all the notable points you've made. Yeah, I'm a well informed consumer (tongue in cheek).
I have to tell you though, some of the advice I received was especially helpful. For example, Thorsten's insight regarding legs really shed light on one of the most overlooked aspects of cycling. I mean, without legs, I'd probably only go downhill.
I also liked Scott's perspective very much. I've even seen Scott in action, and hearing the comments he lobs at people as he moves through the pack is pretty funny and exciting. He does have a cool bike too.
Seriously though, I did want to say thanks and the perspective you all offered me was incredibly helpful. So here's the verdict: after test riding a Serotta earlier this afternoon, I ended up purchasing the Orbea Onix today. I do have some plans for it already, so stay tuned and I'll share those new adventures with you real soon.
~By Scott Bay, Dynoswimmer
So it was unseasonably cold in Florida - air temp in the mid 50s and water temp in the high 60s / low seventies, in other words wetsuit weather for my first Tri of the season. I chose to keep it real and only wear my jammers that I race masters and open water in.
Race morning I realize that I am one of six people not wearing a wetsuit. 20 minutes to race start and no one is in the water to warm up. I chose to push my ‘Real-o-Meter’ into the red and run into the water and swim 50 yds of fly before settling into a nice freestyle rhythm to warm up.
The gun goes off and 250+ male swimmers hit the water churning it into a cauldron of fury. It was right then and there that I decided to Keep it Realer than I ever have before.
I sprinted to the front both over and around people to catch up to the lead group. I ended up 5th (By about 7 seconds from the leader) and the first non wetsuit person out of the water that day. I ended up 20th out of almost 400 at the end of the tri as I had to pay for the hard swim effort.
It stinks to get passed on the bike and run due to a strong swim effort but hey. I had my 15 seconds of glory after the swim.
USA triathlon is now 25 years old.
~by Scott Bay, Dynoswim Aquatics
The start of the new season marks the 25th anniversary of USA triathlon. From a few hundred members to hundreds of thousand the popularity of the sport has grown exponentially. Let’s look at why…
For runners (also swimmers and cyclists), there is the daily routine. It is a ritual, a habit. Most runners I know are just ‘not themselves’ if they miss their morning run. You may be one of those people. There were times in my pure running life when I found my legs so sore it was difficult to make it to my toothbrush in the morning without some aches and pains associated with the trip. I ran anyway. Triathlon allows an athlete to change the routine so to speak to take advantage of a little low or no impact training and still have a challenging workout. True cross training has been around for a while but most pure runners like to do just that….run.
The number 1 triathlon resource in the UK.
Great swim links:
~By Neil Cook
Triathlon swimming is different from competitive swimming. Although the goals are the same--complete the distance as fast as possible--triathlon requires you to be as efficient as you can in order save energy for the bike and run later on. In fact, many triathletes feel that the race does not really start until they get on the bike, and they think of the swim as a warm-up for the hard parts still to come.
~By Dan Empfield
If there is one goal I'd like to establish for all Slowtwitch readers for this year upcoming, it would be that you all (we all) get faster in the water. I'm aging up to the 50+ next season. I didn't do a single triathlon this year. But I knew all along I would do my best to hit my new age-group hard and early next year.
Now, it should be stated that I took better than a decade off altogether from racing triathlons (the decade of the 90s), and since returning to competition I have not taken the swim seriously. I will have to change that, should I have any hope of competing at a high level once I start racing next season.
Most of us will never swim a mile in under 17 minutes, but it can be fun and rewarding with some time and effort invested. Swimming fast is more a matter of technique than strength. It takes the longest of the three triathlon events to master since it is the most technical. My expectations were that I might not get a lot faster, but that I wouldn’t be quite so tired when I was finished. I was right. Learn to swim efficiently instead of faster and you will have plenty of energy left over for the bike and run. For triathlon training you get faster by swimming 5 days a week to get the feel of the water and doing lots of short distance drills. You can start out easy by swimming 3 days a week and get into the habit of making the swim a priority. Remember that if you swim long slow distance then you’ll be good at long slow distance. To get fast, you need to swim fast. It makes it a lot easier to push yourself to swim fast when you are in the company of others. It’s impossible to see yourself swim so that is where the coach is helpful. As much as you might think your technique is good, a coach can see your imperfections that have the potential to slow you down.
Check out some of the races Hannah's been up to:
10th place at the 24th Annual Memphis in May Olympic Distance Triathlon in 2:30:36. That same weekend, Hannah got 3rd place at the Memphis in May Mountain Bike Triathlon in 1:38:44. Among those participating in both races, Hannah was ranked 8th with a combined time of 4:09:20.
Shortly thereafter Hannah, together with fellow Dynoswimmer Amy Britton, did the Gulf Coast Half Ironman (Panama City, Florida) in 5:30:16. Amy finished at 5:48:00.
Awesome job Hannah and Amy!
Four Dynoswimmers - Christine Bange, Scott Bay, Dakin Fromhold, and Joe Matuszczak - participated in Saturday's race. Great Job! Here are a few highlights:
- Joe was 13th overall and 2nd in his age group.
- Dakin earned 2nd out of the water and 6th in his age group.
- Scott's relay was third out of the water and seventh overall in the mixed category.
- Christine had a great race, 4th out of 14 in her first ever triathlon - congratulations!
Latest training series from top multisport coach Lance Watson.
Check out Amy at the Gulf Coast Tri. Did she qualify for the Ironman?
- SWIM: 33:04
- SWIM TO BIKE TRANSITION: 3:03
- BIKE: 3:07:10
- BIKE TO RUN TRANSITION: 3:05
- RUN: 2:01:41
- FINISH 5:48:00
Joe finished at 1:03:37 despite a conservative start in the water, then managed a 22.4 mph bike and a 6:22 pace in the run. Awesome!
"I'm stoked and can't wait for the next one!"
Not surprising since Joe managed 51st out of more than 500 athletes. Check out the results:
Way to go, Joe!
Smart-swimming practice plans for everyone ~By Terry Laughlin
As you prepare for a season-opening triathlon, the best use of your practice time will be to actively rehearse what you'd like to do well in the race. But different athletes will race in different ways. Let's examine three levels of ambition.
An article by Rob Maxwell, M.A.
"I’ve always believed that the middle of the road is typically where the best decision making takes place. Not too far to either extreme. I can’t say I’ve always followed this, but I can say that I think it’s the best plan for success. What am I talking about? I’m talking about triathlon training."
Check out the Triathletes Homepage a great UK resource for triathletes. They have a great links page too, look under swimming!
For you Tri-athletes, check out the Charleston Triathlon Club website:
Just wanted to reinforce some points you've probably heard from a few swim coaches before. If you want to be a fast swimmer, then you have to train like a swimmer; makes sense. Train Like a Swimmer
Pat, Diane, and Jake, please read this... Swimming for the Beginner Triathlete
Who the hell is Gunther you ask? Heck, I don't know, he posted a comment under "Beat the Lightning", but he does have an interesting recommendation regarding used speedos. By the way, I've donned many a used speedo after forgetting the old swim trunks at practice or at meets. I guess that's the difference between a "Try"-Athlete, and a swimmer. Just kidding tri-folks, we love you, we just don't like sharing lanes with you. Editor's note: All derogatory tri comments directed toward Gunther, not at our esteemed Dynoswim ready, able, and willing tri-athletes. Please view Gunthers link. Additionally, $50.00 reward to the person that correctly identifies the person in the "weekly photo" who left everything on the Ironman course (hint: I think she's a Dynoswimmer). Click Here for who the hell is Gunther's link
If you want to be a better swimmer, try a weeklong swim 'bender'...