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Triathlon Swim Tips for Intermediate Athletes

Master the Freestyle & Boost Confidence

Triathlons challenge athletes across swim, bike, and run. Conquer your swim anxieties and become a stronger triathlete with these intermediate freestyle tips!

Improve Your Technique:

  • Drills for Everyone: Even Olympic swimmers use drills! Focus on proper form to propel yourself faster and further.
  • Don’t Neglect Your Kick: A strong kick provides 15-20% propulsion. Train your kick for efficiency and coordination with your core and pull.
  • Master the Catch & Pull: This is key for speed and power. Learn proper fingertip entry, body rotation, high elbow catch, and efficient pulling motions.

Video Analysis: See What You’re Doing Wrong

Invest in a video analysis of your stroke. Expert eyes can identify areas for improvement and help you achieve peak efficiency.

Bilateral Breathing: Breathe Easy & Navigate Open Water

Bilateral breathing (alternating sides) improves stroke symmetry and open water navigation. Breathe every 3rd, 5th, or 7th stroke, or develop a pattern that works for you. Adjust your breathing frequency based on speed and effort.

Intermediate Gear for Enhanced Training

  • Fins: Improve leg propulsion, ankle flexibility, and drill support.
  • Pull Buoy: Isolate arm work and focus on efficient pulling.
  • Snorkel: Train lung power, improve breathing comfort, and perfect drills without turning your head.
  • Paddles (Use with Caution): Enhance pull strength, but only when your technique is sound to avoid bad habits.

Master Dives & Flip Turns for Efficiency

  • Dives: Learn to dive comfortably with goggles on, keeping your chin tucked.
  • Flip Turns: While challenging, flip turns save time. Practice consistently for automatic execution.

Triathlon Race Prep Workouts:

  • Breath Control & Lung Power: Train with sets like 10x100m breathing every 3, 5, 7 strokes with variations.
  • Variable Pacing: Simulate race conditions with workouts like 6x200m alternating 50m fast/50m steady.
  • Prepare for the Start: Practice explosive starts with sets like 3x300m (100m sprint/200m race pace) followed by pulling drills with paddles and a buoy.

Open Water Skills:

  • Sight Breathing: Practice sighting techniques in the pool to navigate open water effectively.
  • Open Water Practice: Simulate open water challenges by practicing sighting in the pool. Prioritize open water swims whenever possible to build confidence and refine navigation.

By incorporating these tips, intermediate triathletes can refine their freestyle technique, conquer anxieties, and become stronger swimmers!

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