First Experience of a 70.3

Have you ever wonder what it’s like to complete a 70.3 triathlon?    Or maybe wonder what was going through someone else’s head while you see them on the race course?

AMS member Elizabeth completed her first 70.3 this past June and give us the blow by blow of her race.    Not every race goes as planned and not every athlete is able to complete a race without have issue.

 

Let me begin on how I started doing triathlons 4 years ago. My husband and I have always been active. One day we were talking about bucket list items, for me, I claimed proudly “I would want to run a 5K before I turn 40, and you?”  He looks at me and says “I would like to do an Ironman”. Yes the difference in distance is quite big, too say the least. But that got me thinking, and believe it or not, that same night we registered for our 1st sprint (that would take place 1 year later). And so our path in triathlon started, baby steps…

Fast forward to this year we registered to do our first Half Ironman, which was Madison WI. We trained for several months, pulling each other, motivating each other, and sometimes playing hooky together. We read tri training books, we ran, we swam, we biked (we got lost, and took us forever to find our car, we fell from our bikes and showed up to work with bruises that lifted several eye brows), rinse and repeat. Leading to the race, we checked the weather report more often than we did for our wedding. I do not think we were concerned with weather for our wedding.  But for the race… we were checking several sites, water temperature, wind speed, previous years forecasts… I think we had as much information as the Weather Channel.  June 10th came by before we knew it. My parents went with us to WI. I had goosebumps when I went to the Ironman village, heard the orientation talk, and picked my package… I really could not believe it. It felt like graduation day.  Everybody, Coach Marty, my crazy friend and “tri-soulmate” Jenny, and my husband kept telling me “trust your training, you put on the work, it will be fine.”

Race morning, I woke up anxious, ready to start, focus on my checklist of things to do.  First thing: nutrition. My stomach decided that it was not going to collaborate with my eating, by that I mean I felt that my stomach was full and could not eat anything. I tried because I knew I could not go with an empty stomach, but I could only take a few bites of breakfast and that was it.  We got our gear, knock on my parent’s door, and off we go.. Before I knew it I had my wetsuit on  standing looking at the lake and the buoys  Incredibly I felt calmed. I walked into the water, lower my googles, and got ready to swim… and that is when everything went wrong. I could not exhale, I could not release the air in my lungs… I stood up, calmed myself down, and tried again, and this was not going good at all…. I tried and little by little I move forward  But by the time I was only 200 yards in, I was in full panic mode. It did not help to see that there were boats taking swimmers out of the water.  I kept thinking “those are more experienced athletes than me and they are being dragged out of the water!”. To be honest, I did not know if they were more experienced, or first timers, or what… but my brain was having a meltdown of its own and taking my whole body down with it. I would grab to boats or buoys and rest, calm down, start swimming and panic again a few yards forward. My goal was to “swim” (did not care of style, gracefulness, or anything at that moment) from buoy to buoy (which were 100 yards apart). I was not able to do that. The water was cold and choppy,  I did not know what was making me freak so much. It was a full blown panic attack, like I never had and it was not letting go. I started crying and you know what? When you are surrounded by water, having a panic attack, crying is not the best thing Tears are made of salty water which meant I now had water not only surrounding me, but in the inside of my googles. I felt like quitting so many times but I kept thinking of my parents waiting for me, and my husband, and my friends… so I kept pushing, taking breaks, and crying while screaming out of frustration. It took me 1 hour and 5 minutes to complete the swim, but I got out before cut off time. I saw my parents and I smiled, but I had no more energy in me… could barely walk to the transition area, my legs were made of spaghetti noodles, but made it.

Got my bike, shoes, helmet, and started biking… and slowly started smiling, just then did the panic started releasing its grip on me. Here we go, 56 miles of bike, that is it…. But in the back of my mind I was running every math algorithm I could to calculate time, speed needed, rest time… and God forbid, what if I got a flat? Now, do you remember those rules about how much space to leave between bikes? And how much time you have to pass someone on the bike? And if you you don’t you’ll get a penalty? Rules are very beautiful, keeps us all in order, but those rules do not apply when you are going up a hill. We were all tangled up, we look like drunks driving bikes, no one was going on a straight line, people were dismounting and walking. At that moment, all I could remember was how many people have told me in the past “Midwest is flat like a pancake” yeah right! That might be true for skiing, but bike this hills and then we will talk! “Flat as a pancake! Ha!” I wonder what kind of pancakes they eat.

I knew time was against me. Yes I know, in a race we are all running against time, but I did not have much time to spare. So I could not walk the climbs and my legs were begging me for some rest (and my butt was begging for some rest too). At one moment I started talking to myself , not at all weird, the concerning part was that I was talking to myself out loud, making faces and answering to myself… actually more arguing with myself, I noticed people looking funny at me, but that did not stop me, at one moment I went “Oh this is too hard, I am tired, and my legs hurt” and then I answered to myself “boo-f###ing-hoo! oh shut up! This is a freaking half ironman, it is supposed to be hard! Just shut up!”. So I followed my own advice and shut up, and said encouraging things to people passing by, and begged not to get a flat. Spectators were so nice! In the hardest incline, there was a couplewith speakers, playing very upbeat music and cheering all of us. Giving us that extra energy we needed to conquer our “Himalaya” (yes, I know, it is not the real one, but when you are tired, it felt like climbing Mount Everest). Eventually, 4 hours and 10 minutes later I was entering transition again. Now, I knew I was really out of time, I had a little over 3 hours to do a half marathon on wobbly legs.

I started “running” and I remember thinking “How did I ever run 13.1 miles! This is impossible”. It was very hot and humid, I walked the 1st mile, and still had no legs to jog. During the running portion I met a nice girl who did part of the 13.1 miles with me and she gave me some good advice. She told me walk the climbs, and run the portions going down and flat… but more importantly, ladies, listen up, when you get to the aid station, get ice, and put it in your bra, between your breast (sorry gentlemen, you cannot do this).  This way you are cool from aid station to aid station. Got it! Get to the aid station, grab coke, water, and ice, put the ice in between the “girls”, and started running… and I listened and sounded like maracas… the ice was jiggling. I had my own sound effect while running, of course, people looked a bit concerned when heard my maracas and they saw me get my hand in between my bra, getting ice, and putting it in my head or my neck… but it helped! Aid stations and volunteers were amazing, they cheered on us, and sprayed me with more sun protection, because I looked like a lobster. In the back of my mind I had that clock ticking, I did not want to DNF, but my legs were begging for mercy and I was running on fumes, remember that I was barely able to have any breakfast, and I drank my “infinit” nutrition during the bike portion, and here I was holding myself together we half bananas and coke. But I continued pushing, almost there… at that point even 0.5 miles seemed like an enormous distance. But suddenly I see my parents and my husband cheering for me, with the cowbell and a sign, cheering and smiling, that gave me the extra push to continue, and suddenly, my dad, who is 82, started running with me, up to the finish chute, with a smile so proud… and that was all I needed to cross the finish line at 8 hours and 25 minutes since I started my race. I know, Living in the edge! But I made it. I crossed the finish line, can’t remember if they even called my name, they gave me my hat and my medal, and they tried to get my time tracking, but I felt my knees go weak, so they carried me over to the side and I went “oh wait, let me stop my garmin”.. well come on! How else was I going to brag, and know how many calories I brunt, and my stats otherwise?   – Elizabeth (proud 70.3 finisher)

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10 Steps to Improving Your Triathlon Swim

Swim Coach Robin recommends that everyone check out this great article by Kevin Koskella that was posted on Active.com about improving your swim.

Spend the most time working on the weakest part of your stroke.

“As technical as the sport of swimming can be, it is tough to narrow down the answer to the often-asked question, “what should I concentrate on?” So, I came up with a “top ten” list of steps to improving your swim for a triathlon. These aren’t necessarily in any order, but should go a long way in helping you achieve your goals, whether you are a beginner or trying to go pro.

  • Hand entry. Slice your hand into the water right about at your goggle line, and drive it forward. Many swimmers attempt to get as much “air time” as possible by reaching the hand out before entering into the water, but it is actually more efficient to go through the water with your hand as you rotate from one side to the other.
  • Head position. Keep looking straight down when swimming freestyle. It’s important to keep your head down with only a small part of the back of your head out of the water. Also, as you rotate through the water, try not to move your head with the rest of your body rotation.
  • Pull. In freestyle, your hands should pull all the way back past your hips. The last part of the stroke before recovery (arms coming out of the water) should be an acceleration behind you, not up out of the water.
  • Kick. Try minimizing your kick as you train for swimming. Most people will kick extra hard to make up for lack of balance in the water. Minimizing your kick will allow you to improve your balance, as well as conserve energy.
  • Training intensity. The best way to measure your training intensity is to count your heart rate immediately after each swim. You can estimate your heart rate by counting your pulse rate for six seconds immediately after each swim. Add a zero to this count, and you will have your approximate exercise heart rate per minute.
  • Master’s swimming. Move to a slower lane to work on stroke improvement. If you belong to a masters team, don’t feel that you always need to keep up with your lanemates at every workout. Masters teams typically have many people with many different swimming goals. It’s important to do your own thing! Remember that technique comes before all else and if this means swallowing a little pride to make improvements, just think of how much faster you will be for this in the long run.
  • Keep your arm from crossing over. One of the most common bad habits I see in swimmers is the arm crossing over to the opposite side on the pull. Breathing on your left side results in your right arm crossing over, breathing on your left side results in your right arm crossing. Often this happens when one goes to breathe, but sometimes it’s caused just from over-rotating. To avoid this, make sure your head isn’t moving with the rest of your body, and try to pull more in a straight line (still bending the elbow) and ending the pull on the same side you started. (For example, right hand slices into the water, pulls back and hand ends up near right hip.)
  • Keep the feel. If swimming is your toughest sport, it is important to keep the feel for the water, and get in the water at least every other day (no, showers and baths don’t count!) This way, your body maintains its kinesthetic awareness of being balanced in water.
  • Work those lungs. Mix in some hypoxic training sets into your workouts. For example, do a set of 4×100’s breathing every 3-5-7-9 strokes by 25, with 15 seconds rest in between each 100. Your lungs will thank you for it towards the end of the swim part of your race!
  • Work your weakness. In the sport of triathlon, most coaches agree that you should spend the most time working on your weakest of the three sports. For many of you, this will be swimming. Within swimming, the same concept applies. Spend the most time working on the weakest part of your stroke. If balancing on your side is an issue, do some kicking drills on your side. If moving your head is a problem, focus on head position most of the time. Whatever it is, you will gain the most by spending your pool time improving on that weakness.”

 

http://www.active.com/triathlon/articles/10-steps-to-improving-your-triathlon-swim

No naps in Naperville this weekend

Inspire Endure Excel

Amphibian Multipsort headed down to Naperville to sprint into action at the Naperville Triathlon.   With it’s one of a kind swim and 2 loop bike course, the frogs dug deep while coach Jason provided support.

10 athletes  woke up early to head to the transition getting ready for a day that would only be described as amazing.    There were PRs accomplished, podium spots awarded and a lot of fun had.    Kristen earned a 3rd place finish and Jenny earned a 2nd place finish.

Way to go Frogs!!

 

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Thank you Jason for being cheerleader, sherpa and photographer!!

Trey’s Training

Our very own running coach Trey wrote this great article about his Texas training and his approach to it.   Definitely something everyone should read over whether you are doing it all for fun or trying to make it to Kona next year.    Trey has some extremely useful info for everyone.

 

“When asked to write up an article for JSR on my most recent race, Ironman Texas, I thought about a lot of the race articles I had read recently. One thing which I always enjoyed hearing about was an athlete’s approach or the process that they went through as a part of their training and racing to get to their end goal. And so for this article I’d like to share my own personal 5 Step process for endurance training and specifically my approach to my Ironman Texas Build.

Step #1: Clearly state your goal.

Step #2: Create a plan (Plan is = a strategy and set of tactics to achieve each strategy) in an effort to achieve Step One- the stated goal.

Step #3: Execute the plan (strategy and tactics) from Step 2.

Step #4: Evaluate how you did against Step One, the stated goal. Learn. Adjust.

Step #5: Repeat Steps 1-4.

This basic 5 Step process has been essentially how I think most of us, me included, have approached our training and racing. We state a goal, we put a plan in place to achieve that goal, and then we either achieve or not achieve that goal. Finally, we reflect on what of that plan (the stated strategies and tactics) worked and what didn’t work, in an effort to determine what we would do differently the next time around. We typically talk with our teammates, coach, and friends and learn from our peers, pros, research, articles, etc out there when working through each of these steps.

Here was my approach:

Step #1: (State Goal)

For this Ironman build, I had 2 goals. One focused in on Step #2 of the above process. Having already achieved my bigger goal of qualifying for the Ironman World Championships in Kona, I was more interested in the Ironman training process and outcome of that training process for Texas, than I was reaching for a goal like a PR or Kona qualification. For this Ironman I wanted to see what different training strategies I could utilize in an attempt to improve my overall Ironman performance. The second main objective of Ironman Texas, was to be a motivating force behind the efforts of a few friends in an attempt to help them achieve their goals of qualifying for Kona.

Step #2: (Create a Plan)

I planned to execute essentially a similar training plan for Ironman Texas as I did Ironman Wisconsin with three notable changes.

  1. The first change to my build for Texas was to do a Body Composition and VO2Max test to identify my training heart rate zones and zone wattage. I wanted to ensure that for each and every workout I did, I had a specified goal and had a physiological target for that training session. In other words, if I was going to invest an hour or three each day for training, I wanted to make sure those hours were as effective as possible. Enter Dan Bergeson and Fit Metrix. http://www.fitmetrixlab.com/index.html I started talking with Dan about conducting a VO2 Max test, and body composition test. Dan led me through the test and then laid out in perfect detail my VO2 Max, my training heart rate zones, and my power or wattage targets per zone. Dan also completed a Body Composition Test for me using the Bod Pod. While I didn’t do anything specific with these results, it was good information to know and have. I learned my weight, my % body fat, and what my resting metabolic rate was which when multiplied by an activity factor would provide me with a daily caloric target. For example, if I was interested in counting calories to gain or lose weight as a part of my training cycle.  If this data is something you are interested in obtaining, I’d highly recommend going and seeing Dan at Fit Metrix, conveniently located in Libertyville.
  2. The second change to my build for Texas was the inclusion of Hyper-thermic Conditioning or Heat Training. In preparation for Ironman Kona in October, where the race is more often than not run in hot conditions, I wanted to experiment with inclusion of some heat training to better prepare my body for the conditions of both Texas and Kona. I had done a lot of research in this arena but found the simplest overview by Dr. Rhonda Patrick of FoundMyFitness the best discussion on the topic. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aHOlM-wlNjM&t=274s Through the incorporation of 45min-1 hour sessions in a sauna, 3-5 days a week in the weeks leading into Texas I was hoping to increase my capacity for endurance and to build muscle. There is a lot more to this that can fit into this article, so I’d suggest listening to Dr. Rhonda’s discussion.
  3. The third and final change to my build for Texas was to adjust the percentages of time I spent training within the three disciplines. Specifically, I wanted to take out a little volume (@10%) of my typical weekly run volume and reallocate that training time to the swim and the bike. I thought if I could ‘gain’ say 10-15 minutes on the bike leg and only ‘lose’ 3-6 minutes on the run leg, I would come out net faster.

Step #3: (Execute the Plan)

I executed this Ironman Build with the three key changes I highlighted above. Like most of us, I had ideal training weeks, and I had less than ideal training weeks, but I went into Ironman Texas prepared and ready for what I expected could be a good day.

Step #4: (Evaluate Results against the Goal)

I combined a 1:13 swim, 4:57 bike and 3:12 run to go 9:30. This was good enough for 10th in my division and 85th overall including the Pro field.  While it was a PR, I feel as though I left a little time on the table particularly in the swim (@4-6 minutes) and the run (@6-8 min). That said, I believe that I was successful on my two stated goals. I learned through this experience that having specific training and racing targets with objective data can help me make the best use of my training time. Understanding these numbers Dan provided me has taken some of the guesswork out of the challenges of being self-coached. I whole heartedly believe in hyperthermic conditioning and the benefits which it can bring to endurance athletes. Lastly, I think that while my bike and run fitness improved with the added volume or emphasis I placed on them, I wished I had the run fitness from my prior two Ironman builds.  I also achieved my other goal of supporting a few friends in their attempts to qualify for Kona. Marty Taylor, Nick Brown and Robin Doyle all punched their tickets for the big island and the Ironman World Championships and I’d like to think my support helped them a bit in getting there.

Step #5: (Repeat Steps #1-4)

This is a work in progress. I’m planning out my training plan & build to the World Championships and Ironman Kona on October 14th, and I’m looking to incorporate what I learned from this build and the ones previous into this next one. I’d also like to solicit the support of my fellow mates in contributing to that plan. As a community of teammates and friends I think we have a lot to offer one another and I’d welcome any support over the coming months to achieve great results. While I realize this was a fairly unorthodox approach to a race recap I sincerely hope it was helpful and informative.  Until next time!

Trey”

Friday night storms bring Saturday PRs

After Ironman village at Muncie 70.3 was closed early on Friday night due to a horrible storm that came rolling through town, everyone was a little nervous of what Saturday morning would bring us.  But Frogs love water and in true Amphibian Multisport fashion the Frogs brought their A game.
A calm swim, breezy bike and a run cooled off by a lot of ice brought home some big wins for AMS.    Robin crushed the competition with a 2nd place finish and Bouf earned a 5th place podium spot this weekend at IM Muncie 70.3.    As a team the Frogs brought home 1st place award for Division V Triclub.   Way to go team!!!
To put a little additional Icing on that Cake, AMS will be sending more Frogs to Chattanooga this fall for the 70.3 World Championship.   Coach Robin (giving up Madison) Doyle and Coach Trey (lovin’ the roll downs) Robinson will join the other members in Chatty.  Both Robin and Trey will also be representing the team in Kona this fall as well.  Talk about some rockstar triathletes!! Mark “Bouf” had the honor of turning down a slot because he earned one last year in Racine.
Let’s not forget about all the PRs that were earned this weekend as well.  Coach Kristin (the real Frog Boss) PRed her PR race!! #lovecoachkristin   Jeanne PRed by over an hour.  Michael, Brett, Pampa, Gabriel, and Casey all beat their PR times between 20 – 40 mins.  Brett, it just might be time to be a full blown Frog, just a thought!!  Bouf, Adam and Robin all PRed by 15 mins.
First time finisher John Richert had an impressive day with a 5:29 finish time.
The ultimate Frog award goes to Don who had to carry his bike the last 3 miles because his rear derailleur broke.  He didn’t give up, he didn’t lose his smile… he just kept being the amazing person that he is!!
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Also always there are more pictures posted on our Flickr Account  AMS Flickr Account

 

-Jenny

Racin’ in Racine

Ironman Racine 70.3 may not have been the race that everyone was anticipating, but the Frogs still did what they did best!!   For a second year in a row the swim was canceled in Racine,  the water temps were a little low and the water conditions were rough.   So it was time for a Duo!!
Bruce, Jamie, Bill and the Scott F. Cousins did Amphibian Multisport proud!!   Athletes were sent out on to the bike course in numerical bib number onto 56 miles of Wisconsin’s “finest” roads.    There were some flat tires and mechanical issues but that didn’t stop these guys.   Bruce had the honor of being the last guy on the bike course, he got his very own police escort.  #winning

Amphibian received a 3rd place Tri Club award!!

Way to go guys!!

 

 

The 6 Elements of a Perfect Swim Stroke

Posted on Ironman.com

 

A systematic approach to enhancing your swim technique.

by Kathy Alfino

Over the years, I’ve heard some pretty weak arguments when discussing the importance of swim technique. It’s true that making significant gains in the pool is difficult when we spend the majority of our training sessions working on our bike and run techniques.

Swimming improvements, however, are often just a few technique sessions away. The change needs to occur in your mind before it transfers to the water. As a coach and lifelong student of swimming and triathlon, I know that a more efficient swim does make an impact on your bike and ultimately your run, so I use the following approach when working with triathletes to make gains in the water.

1.Body Position: It all starts here. Before you start thinking about all the other aspects of the swim, you must have proper body alignment in the water. Don’t make the mistake of thinking your wetsuit will correct body balance. Learning to swim faster starts in a pool and you will become a better swimmer by starting to learn how to get your body balanced properly in the water.

Cues to look for: Head, hip, and feet positioning. Are they in alignment? Is the body long?

How to improve: Through a series of drills designed to promote proper body alignment. The athlete needs to be able to identify when they aren’t in position and how to self-diagnose and correct this before moving on to the next step.

DrillsSupermanBelly to the Wall

2.Hand Entry: If the hand does not enter the water properly then your chances of getting a good purchase of the water up front is significantly diminished.

Cues to look for: Are the fingertips entering the water before the wrist and elbow? Are the hands entering the water directly above the shoulder without crossover on both sides? After the hand enters the water, where do they set up for the catch? Does the hand stay below the elbow at all times? Are the elbow, forearm, wrist, and fingertip in alignment? Most triathletes hand entry remains too close to the surface of the water and does not allow for a proper catch of the water. Often I see athletes “scoop” their fingertips up to the water surface, essentially putting on the brakes. The hand entry should set up in line with the shoulder approximately four to six inches below the surface of the water.

How to improve: By recording and breaking down video of the athlete, along with on land demonstrations and drills.

DrillsPause DrillTap Drill

3. Timing: After body positioning and hand entry is fixed, the next focus area is the timing of the pull. When does the lead hand start pulling in relation to the recovery arm? This is one of the biggest mistakes I see with novice swimmers. The lead hand/arm will drop or begin to pull too early and “push” the water down. This puts the body out of alignment causing unnecessary drag.

Drills: Pause Drill, Tap drill.

Related Article: 4 Swim Workouts to Build Endurance

4. The Catch and Stroke: The next step becomes the purchase or catch of the water and the stroke. The goal is to grab hold of the water and pull the water back behind you (not push down- this causes excess bubbles). This is accomplished with the hand and forearm. Many people talk about early vertical forearm but few actually know what it means or how to achieve this.

Cues to look for: Assuming the entry and timing are correct the next step is the set of the elbow. Setting the elbow and getting the fingertips to point to the bottom of the pool without flexing the wrist creates early vertical forearm.

How to improve: There are several different cues I give swimmers. “Keep the elbow on the outside of the body”, “think about placing your forearm over a brick wall or Swiss ball and pulling back.” Envision railroad tracks running along the outside of your body and paint brushes taped to your hands. Your goal is to paint stripes on the tracks.

DrillsPaint BrushFist DrillStraight Arm

5. Breathing: The biggest mistake I see is poor timing of the breath and over inhaling. The important step is to exhale, to get rid of excess CO2. You only need to take in as much air to get you to your next breath. Most triathletes inhale enough air to last 20 to 30 seconds when the time between strokes is less than five seconds. The next mistake I see is exhaling at the wrong time. Athletes will often wait to exhale until they have turned their head to take a breath. This leads to incomplete exhalation and increases shortness of breath. In order to get air in, you must exhale all your air out in the water prior to turning your head for a breath.

Cues to look for: To maintain proper breathing, the head turns to the side which has just stroked. The lead hand stays pointing forward, or extended so you maintain balance. This is where athletes will rush their stroke, the lead arm will begin to pull, usually down, and in order to maintain balance they lift their head for air. One side of the goggle should remain in the water, the head should turn, and air is taken in by sucking air in through the top of your mouth. The head turning creates a small pocket which allows you to grab air. Do not allow the head to turn up to the ceiling. The head should turn to the side of the pool in a quick motion. Make sure you turn the chin as opposed to lifting the face and then turning. The head must remain still at all other times during the stroke. This will maintain proper alignment with the spine during breathing. The flexibility of the neck, shoulders, and chest are key for proper head rotation.

How to improve: A combination of on land demonstrations and video is used to identify and correct errors. I often have the client stand in one place, bend at the hip with their face in the water and practice the timing of the exhale, inhale while stroking. From the pool deck, watch for a little outward spray of water from the mouth area as the swimmer turns to take their breath—this is a classic sign of late exhalation. Over rotation will lead to cross over and scissor kick.

Drill: Belly to the wall, Kicking without a kick-board, taking a stroke to breathe.

6. Arm Turnover: While the athlete is focusing on the steps above, we often work on maintaining a stroke count of less than 20 per 25 yards. This allows the athlete to develop the proper timing of the pull and catch phase ie: keeping the extended arm out until the recovery arm has reached eye level to begin the pull. Unfortunately, this can also lead to over gliding and a dead spot. Once proper swim technique is mastered, it is important for the athlete to now focus on an increased stroke rate while maintaining proper form and stroke length. Gliding is great but to get faster we must have a faster stroke rate or turnover.

Cues to look for: The goal is to identify a stroke rate the athlete can maintain which produces the fastest times for a certain distance or distances. Let’s face it—it does you no good to have a stroke count of 12 per 25 yards if it takes you 40 seconds to swim. Most triathletes pay very little attention to stroke rate. We pay attention to cadence when running and cycling but not to turnover in the pool.

How to improve: Count your strokes and then monitor the stroke count while completing a specific distance. The athlete will often note an increase in heart rate and fatigue as they move from 18 strokes to 21 strokes per 25 yards. Take this step slowly—moving from 18 to 19 strokes and maintaining 19 strokes for 25 yards to 200 yards. Fixing this issue is a lot of about awareness and self-monitoring. You will eventually find your sweet spot when your arms are in constant motion while maintaining proper form.

Dramatic improvements to your swim stroke can be made in as simple as three to five sessions. It’s crucial to only focus on one or two topic areas per session. Repetition of the drills will aid in muscle memory and make your next swim session significantly easier than the last. All you need is a little focus to bring your swim form up to speed.

 

 

Kathy Alfino is a four-time IRONMAN World Championship qualifier and an IRONMAN Certified Coach with a nursing degree and a master’s degree in Exercise Physiology and Cardiac Rehabilitation. She is also the co-owner of Mile High Multisport.

Originally from: http://www.ironman.com/triathlon/news/articles/2016/07/6-ways-to-improve-your-swim-stroke.aspx#ixzz4mezq3uJ1