Seeing Joe Friel’s article in 220 Triathlon magazine this week reminded me of one of the easiest ways to improve your swim – staying nice and flat in the water.  I know some of you like to use special floaty shorts, a pull buoy or wetsuit to help with this but these are not always possible in races – like the pool swim at Newmarket last weekend – so the best way is to practise getting it right without any artificial aids during pool training.

Many of us could improve our body position, across all the lanes.  Joe Friel has some good tips in his article and my suggestion to add to his comments are as follows:

1. Head position is the most important thing to get right.  It should be in a neutral position so you should be looking straight down at the bottom of the pool.  Most of us can do this when we start swimming and the time it goes wrong is when breathing.  The most common thing I see is people lifting and twisting their head at the same time when they breathe.  Instead, practice sneaky breathing where you only turn your neck sideways and breathe into your shoulder.  Try and make it look like your mouth is not above the surface of the water by using the bow-wave you get near your shoulder.  If you swim too close to the person in front you will find this difficult as you will be spending too much time trying to look forward and watch their feet, so leave a gap!

2.  Legs are the next priority in my view.  Whilst we want to conserve energy and not kick too hard in the swim most people I see on Saturdays kick too little so that either it affects their body position, hence their legs sink, or it reduces their streamlining by being too lazy and wide.  For most of us a good steady kick will yield more benefits from improved streamlining and body position than will be lost by increased tiredness from the legs.

This week the main set will consist of increasing pace 300, 200 and 100m swims.  Try and think about perfect body position using your head and legs on these swims and especially kicking faster as you pick up the pace.

See you Saturday!

Rob

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