Coffee & Coaching Episode 25: The top 5 mistakes we see swimmers make

Episode 25

Title: Top 5 mistakes we see swimmers make

Episode Length: 20mins

(Can watch the episode or read the blog below)

About the Episode: 

Swimming is definitely the technical component of triathlon, and we know it is the part that often puts people off giving triathlon a go! In this episode of Coffee & Coaching we share 5 tips that will improve the efficiency of your swim stroke as well as the effectiveness of your training sessions. 

Watch the Replay 

Or if you don't have time to watch the replay, you can read our summary of what's covered below! 

Mistake #1: Ineffective Hand Entry

- We want your hand to spear the water, and enter with your fingers below your wrist and your wrist below your elbow

- Common mistakes include entering thumb first, placing your palm on the water's surface and flexing your wrist after entering. 

- An ineffective hand entry sets you up for an ineffective catch.

Mistake #2: Ineffective Catch

The ‘catch’ is the part of your stroke where you’re pushing the water back past your hip, therefore propelling yourself forwards.

When we think about the hand entry errors I mentioned above, they all set you up for an ineffective catch.

- Try to get someone to film you from the side of the pool, so you can visually assess how your hands enter the water. Try swimming with fins or a pull buoy to allow you to specifically focus on this component of your stroke.

Mistake #3- Not following rest time

It can be tempting to take extra periods of rest on top of what is assigned via your program

- However this may result in you training the wrong system and not achieving the desired goal of the session

- Consider using a tempo trainer to keep you accountable if you're swimming alone

Mistake #4 - Rushing through drills

Sometimes you need to slow down, so you can learn to swim fast

- Taking the time to actually understand the purpose behind a drill and executing it properly will help you nail the technique and allow you to incorporate it into your swim stroke, ultimately making you a faster swimmer. 

For example, the purpose of doing the sculling and doggy paddle drills you will see in our triathlon programs is to improve your catch and your feel for the water. If you move through these too fast and don’t spend any time actually thinking about what you’re doing it won’t transfer to your actual stroke, and you won’t see the benefits of doing them. 

Mistake #5 Incorrect pacing

- Sometimes we see athletes swim at one pace the whole time. They don’t have an EASY, MODERATE, HARD - they stick to one pace and will maintain that throughout the whole session. 

- If you swim easy the whole time, your fitness will take much longer to improve and you won’t progress as quickly. If you try to swim hard the whole time you will probably end up exhausted halfway through the session and won’t be able to execute the drills properly. 

- Consider using a tempo trainer to help enforce changes in pace

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