Triathletes who waste energy when swimming can stop smashing their way through the water causing breathlessness by reading this blog.
Today, when you mention the word Triathlete nearly everyone knows what it means, a race where the competitor completes a biking, running and swimming event.
I have been an avid watcher of these competitions but have always noticed that where swimming is concerned a lot of energy is wasted.
I teach all sorts of people to learn how to swim in my private swimming pool on a 1-1 basis and have taught a lot of men and women who are keen to take part in a triathlon.
Some have no idea of how to swim, smash their way through the water and become one of those triathletes who waste energy when swimming. Others do have a stroke but have been taught by the old fashioned methods of ASA when they were children.
In every instance the person swimming thinks that they have to pull back with their hand on the recovery arm pushing the water towards the feet, this causes the person to use huge amounts of energy and puts a great strain on the shoulder joints. Triathletes who waste energy when swimming uses this method. Also, the very nature of pulling back makes the body rise instead of slipping through the water, thereby losing precious seconds.
The very word recovery means just that, of course the recovering arm should have a form of encouraging the body to move forwards but the main thrust is the leading arm which should be pushing forwards and into the correct position once in the water. This means that the swimmer can slip through the water causing the water to give way, rather than the huge feeling of resistance pushing back with the recovering arm. One thing to remember, (when bring the hand forward) high hands and arms in the water means low legs and hips causing unnecessary drag resulting in loss of speed.
The most important arm is the one cutting through the water and pushing forwards and is driven into the right place in front of the body causing the hips to feel light.
As you bring your arm forward think one o’clock with your right arm and eleven o’clock with your left arm. This causes you to pull back directly by each side of your body when you complete the stroke causing the water to propel your forward.
DO NOT MAKE A FIGURE 8 AS YOU PULL YOUR HAND BACK BECAUSE YOUR ARM AND HAND WILL GO UNDERNEATH THE BODY CAUSE YOU TO RISE INSTEAD OF GOING FORWARD.
The hand (either one) that goes into the water first to start the stroke MUST stay there whilst you prepare the other hand to perform the next stroke. This gives you balance whilst the second arm that is coming out of the water (causing you to rotate) starts to slice through the water together with the stretch. As this hand enters the water the pull back hand (which is in the eleven or one o’clock position) should start pulling back once your other hand is about half way in position.
You can perfect this technique by doing a catch up drill which forces you to keep the leading hand in front all the time whilst you perform the next stroke. You do not pull back until both hands are in the same position. This is a drill, and not how you will eventually swim.
In order to do this effectively the swimmer MUST understand how to balance in the water. The triathlete would not get on a bike and race without understanding how to balance and I am sure that all of the competitors can ride slowly because riding slowly means the person has to use their center core to keep upright.
The same is with swimming, it is IMPOSSIBLE to obtain an effective swim without understanding this technique of balancing in the water using the centre core.
In my observation in seeing most people swim, they use their arms and legs to balance causing the triathlete to waste energy when swimming.
When a novice is being taught how to swim and they have not yet got their balance, in every occasion they either open their arms or legs to make themselves feel comfortable in the water instead of shifting their weight forwards towards the center core. So, if they have not understood how to balance and use their arms and legs to do so, what happens when they swim? They have to move their arms and legs very quickly, not paying attention to the technique because they are more concerned with getting through the water, this causes them to claw their way through the water using huge amounts of energy.
Shifting the weight forward means that a person has to understand how to relax their shoulders, neck and arms and being streamlined, in other words the relaxed pose should not introduce a sloppy arm structure.
The next technique to understand is the stretch. Why does a person have to stretch in the water to be efficient?
I have spent quite a few hours thinking about this and have come to the conclusion that, although the water is dense and therefore can hold the body up, it does not correct the slouch that all of us have unless we are a proficient athlete, ballroom dancer and service man/woman. In all of these occupations it is necessary for a person to lift their rib cage and stand tall. This can be done by pulling the tummy in, as depicted in the advert for larger, where a couple of lads are slouching against a wall holding their glasses of larger and a stunning female walks by in a bikini. What do they do? They pulled their tummies in and thought tall! That’s what a swimmer has to do all the time in the water.
There is something else that a proficient swimmer needs to pay attention to and that is the kick. When I was in my infant stage of teaching I just could not understand why some people stayed in one position in the water even though they were kicking like mad! In fact they looked like beached whale! The wrong way of kicking is another way triathletes who waste energy when swimming get so tired very quickly.
I had to go home and do some thinking before their next lesson. After kicking in different ways in my private pool. I came to the understanding that in order to get movement in the water the kick should be aimed at the surface of the water because that is where there is less resistance. What does that mean
Well, the kick (when horizontal on the tummy in the water) should be a backward movement from the knees, not a predominately downward movement. This can be easily rectified by practice, holding on to the side of the pool. At the same time of kicking the swimmer should NOT LOSE THEIR STRETCH, causing them to slouch in the water by bringing their bottom up causing triathletes who waste energy when swimming to be out of breath and having enough energy to bike as well as they should do.
Now, I know most people who are reading this may feel that they cannot think of all of these points whilst trying to swim at the same time, but I need to point out that this is where drilling come into play this will stop triathletes who waste energy when swimming smashing their way through the water. Each part of the stroke can be practiced, time and time again until a person feels like a fish in the water, this is a great way to get Triathletes how not to waste energy when swimming
The EMPHASIS IS NOT ON THE STROKE but on the drills, this is the only way to learn the stroke and this is how I taught myself how to swim efficiently this will also help triathletes who waste energy when swimming. In fact, 3 months after drilling and stroking and then swimming, I came 2nd in my age group for the mile swim in the county. The person who came first had been swimming all her life, I had started swimming 2 years earlier at the age of 56.
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