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MOTOGUY128's Photo MOTOGUY128 SparkPoints: (0)
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4/7/11 10:56 P

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For triathlon, unless swimming is a weakness I wouldn't spend more than about 25% of your training time on swimming. Swimming is the shortest segment, by a large margin. In a HIM, an average age grouper can do the swim in 30 minutes. That same athlete can probably do the bike in 2 hours and run the 1/2 marathon in a 1:50. So if you train 12 hours a week, 3-4 hours is the most you want to swim. Running is hight impact so to maximize trianing you'll be able ot bike a lot more than run.

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4/7/11 3:45 P

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Thank you so much for sharing that article! I am doing my first HIM in July and I have never really swam before, so it is crucial to learn now and fast!

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4/7/11 10:44 A

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After my last triathlon, I made the comment that I need to learn to swim faster. I was dead last on the run because I walk and can't run. I made up 9 minutes on the bike and went into the pool in first place in the Athena division and ended up third after the swim. I have only been swimming for a year and I am using this article as a starting point. The article was written by Marty Gaal of USA Triathlon and it ran in Active dot com. I like this article because it narrows down what is really important and needs to be worked on.

How to swim faster? The specific answer is: technique, training time (volume) and workout structure (intensity). You can view these three as a triangle. Technique goes at the top because without at least a moderate amount of good swimming technique, training time and workout structure will only help a bit.

Swimming Technique
Without at least decent technique, you will always be limited in your ability to go fast for longer distances. This is an absolute. Decent technique, meaning that more of your energy is directed to moving you forward rather than pushing you backward, to the side, underwater, etc. Teaching yourself reasonably proficient and better technique is difficult but not impossible, especially with free websites like YouTube (search swimming technique), as well as more thorough instructional videos.

The author strongly recommends finding a local swimming technique coach that can film you and provide specific recommendations for improvement. Local masters groups also may have a good coach on deck. The details of swimming technique are complex, but the two fundamentals are: a good forward reach or extension phase and a powerful, technically correct catch and pull phase. Without these two fundamentals driving your stroke, you will need a great kick to be fast. Kicking uses a lot of energy, which is not good for triathlon racing.

Swimming three times a week is usually what it takes for improvement to occur.Four or five swim sessions a week are better if you are serious about becoming faster. Follow a plan that is realistic for you. Time is at premium for most people. Now get out there and start watching a few videos, talking to a coach and practice, practice, practice!

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