Hey there fellow triathletes,
I watched another great video by active expert Dave Scott on kicking drills for triathlon.
I love his videos & I love kicking. Anyone else out there like me? The kick is my happy place & my place of power/propulsion.
As triathletes we're told to save the legs for the bike and run & to use our legs for stability and for rotation during the swim-- makes sense to me, I get it --- but I love to kick!
Questions for You:
- Would you rather pull or kick?
- Do you have a 2-beat or 6-beat kick?
- Which of these 10 steps makes the most sense for you? http://www.active.com/triathlon/Articles/10_Steps_to_improving_your_triathlon_swim.htm
- What advice, tips or encouragement do you have for me?
Sara Cox Landolt
Sara, Sara, Sara. I appreciate your "happy place" and if it works for you, great! But really, kicking doesn't provide much propulsion. How long does it take to do one length of the pool just kicking? Compare that to a length using a two-beat kick for rotation and pulling with your arms/trapezious? Not even close; you could cook a hot dog in the time it takes to do one length kicking. And here you are using big leg muscles (and energy) to flap your feet around.
The Ten Tips are excellent; it is always good to post links because we aren't reinventing the wheel here. Have fun out there!
hahahahahahaha! I like the fun & sassy response! :-)
I know it's nonsensical! Your points are correct -- I understand the science & technique behind it. And I'm working on the overall pieces of my stroke & improving. But I admit I'm addicted to kick sets! Pretty much the whole rest of the group groans/complains when it is time to kick, but I applaud. I fear I'm on my own with this one! I'll have to google kick-only competitions.... now that would be interesting!
Still laughing about the hotdog comment!
Sara Cox Landolt
Jason is right. Swimming (and kick sets in particular) are great for bike/run recovery. It gets the blood flowing, moving all those toxins out of the muscles, without any weight bearing pounding like running. And you should alwyas incorporate kick sets as part of your swim drills just to get the rhythm down, movement starting from the hips not the knees, not extending too wide causing drag not propulsion, etc. I'm glad Sara likes them, because not many of us do!
Off to go cook a hot dog while Sara kicks...
I'll have a hot dog.
I don't think I have heard anyone of "liking" to kick! Pure non-sense. For recovery...I'm getting a massage.
BT, Jason & Brad,
Someone out there HAS to like kicking!
A note to all the chefs out there, I'd suggest using a slow-cooker because I plan on a TON of killer kick sets!
Thanks for the laughs,
Sara Cox Landolt
Sara - Sheila Taormina (Olympic Gold Medalist; competed in 3 different sports including swimming and triathlon) completely agrees with you that triathletes don't use the kick to their advantage. If you train to kick you won't "use up" your legs anymore than you "use them up" on the bike or run - its what they are trained to do. I've been kicking like a mad woman ever since and contrary to some of the other responders - it DOES propel you forward. Of course the pull is VERY important but a little added kick might be just the bump in speed you need!
That's my two cents anyway.... =)
Nobody stated that kicking doesn't provide propulsion, just that it provides little comparatively. For elite athletes, that little bit could be the difference between podium and not, particularly on a Sprint distance. As you get to longer distances, triathlon is more of an energy management event. As such, using your legs to kick during the swim when you need them for the bike and run makes little sense. For most of us non Olympic Gold Medal winners, is gaining a few seconds on the swim by using a six-beat kick when the bike is over an hour long (Olympic) and the run about 45 minutes really worth it? Your transition time could probably improve by those few seconds instead. Your arms and shoulders provide little to the bike and run to move you forward so going hard during the swim with the major propulsive muscles also makes sense. I disagree with the assertion that you can't "use up" your leg muscles for the same reason I couldn't go 24 MPH on the bike all day long but I can for shorter distances, even well trained. Your muscles do fatique and you do have to manage that fatique and energy reserves.
As I said previously, you should always do kicking drills as part of your swim workouts.
Kicking does provide a little propulsion but not that much. And to the point that BT made, you are still using the muscles AND they are going to get fatigued no matter how much you train them with kick sets.
By the way BT...I'll have another hot dog, please.
Ok, Brad. How would you like it? I can really incinerate them while Sara is doing a length of kicking. Maybe throw some thick Brats on as well. Mustard? Pickle relish? The works? Bun toasted as well? I'm getting hungry too and it's finally getting to BBQ weather!
Have fun everyone!
Go ahead and ask me why I don't kick....
Because I just finished up a short ride of 40 miles and the last 20 of them were into a 20 mph headwind! That is why I don't kick!
BT hold off on the fully loaded dogs...I just polished off a large homemade pizza and a bottle of wine. That half gallon of cookie dough ice cream is giving me the evil eye as well.
OK...OK...so I broke down tonight and caved in to the dark side. As you can see....my background is nutrition...BUT...it doesn't mean my sweet tooth just disappears.
Train hard and train safe....eat well
Hey there HHTRigirl!
Thanks for responding! I get these ideas Sheila suggests - train your body how you'd like it to perform etc on race day.
My husband claims I swim in slow-motion, so I hope a little more kick will help me catch him ... one day!
The heart of the matter for me is it's not about whether the kick is good or bad for me as a triathlete, but that I LOVE IT no matter what!! So, I wanted to see if anyone else loves to freedom, rush, surge, power of a good strong kick -- anytime!
What are you training for this season?
Have a good week,
Sara Cox Landolt
Hey Brad, BT and group,
With all this food talk of course we grilled out tonight! But no hotdogs this time, we had burgers, asparagus, golden potatoes, mushrooms and onions with olive oil.... super yummy.
Oh & cookie dough ice cream sounds fantastic!
p.s. swimming bright & early!
Sara Cox Landolt
When I first read the tagline for this post, I thought you were talking about the "kick" at the end of your run....ya know, where you speed up and cross the finish line looking exactly the opposite of how you are really feeling.
As for the swimming kick, neh. Waste of big energy. I DO kick when I swim, because I can't seem to stop myself from doing it, but it's not going to win any high kick awards.
I try not to kick on the bike.
I only kick on the run when someone is in my way.