Now it is December we will be doing some work on the leg kick to complete the work on body position and pull that we’ve been doing the last two months.  I’ve saved legs till last as they are less important for good swimming in triathlon than the pull and body position that we have been focusing most of our time on so far.  However, legs contribute about 10% to your overall propulsion, which is worth having, and having a poor leg kick will actually increase drag and mean you have to work much harder than necessary.  It is also really important for stroke tempo and reducing over-gliding.

We will be doing some kick this week as well as a usual longer aerobic main set on full stroke.  In these sets I’d like you to think about the following:

  • When kicking try and keep your legs straight, with toes pointed, and kick from the hips. Your knees will naturally flex a bit when you do this but you should resist letting this happen as it almost always results in excessive bending of the knee which just increases drag and slows you down.
  • A great way to check your legs is when kicking on your back without a float, but always remember:
    • Never, ever, kick on your back with your arms by your sides – always keep your arms above your head in a streamlined position
    • Keep your knees under the water at all time – the only part of your legs to break the surface should be your feet
  • When doing full stroke your legs set the tempo for your arms. Hence, a great way to avoid over-reaching on your pull is to focus on keeping a steady tempo with your legs which will make it impossible to pause on your arms stroke.  A pause in your arm stroke is almost always accompanied by a pause in your leg kick.

We will also be doing some sprints at the end of the session this week and this is another great opportunity to work on your legs.  Again, the legs set the tempo for your stroke so focusing on a really fast, hard leg kick will naturally increase your stroke rate without you feeling the need to rip your arms through the water and start slipping water.

See you Saturday!