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2789 Views 5 Replies Latest reply: Mar 12, 2009 7:33 PM by muffin0328
CarlosAraya Rookie 1 posts since
Mar 3, 2009
Currently Being Moderated

Mar 8, 2009 9:19 PM

Getting ready for a sprint triathlon - working on the swimming part

I started training in January for my first triathlon, a Spring Mountain Bike one, in late June.


I'm getting a little concerned about the swimming. I can swim the distance (it's only 500 yards) but not all at once, I have to stop every 50 meters or so to catch my breath. The bike and the run are ok. Do you have any ideas on how to build the swimming endurance?





  • FurnaceM3 Amateur 13 posts since
    Mar 31, 2008


    Hey Carlos,



    I'm in the same situation as you expect maybe I can go a little longer.  Here's what you can do to tackle some of the fear:



    a)  Get some books, surf the internet, ...etc. to get some instruction on proper swimming techniques.  It always helps if you understand what things you may need to work on.  Obviously, reading is not enough so practice what you learn.  Try to get some video of yourself in action to see what corrections can be made.



    b)  Get a swim coach.  I've heard some positives about having an instructor guide you through your form.  Of course, you'll need to have the budget for one. 



    c)  Make sure you are alternate breathing properly.  Don't hold your breath and get your breathing down right (take in through the mouth; breathe out through the nose)



    d)  Set up some attainable milestones during your training.  Tell youself you CAN get to 100m without being out of breathe and pace yourself to that goal.  Once that is reached, move a little further out.  Gain some confidence.



    e)  Visualize:  I've read some articles where visualizing proper technique can be very helpful to your actual swim form.  Your brain will use this visualization and "prepare" your muscle/brain coordination appropriately during your next swim.  Visualization actually helps when you are just about to go to bed (so I've read).  Heck, I'm willing to try it out.....



    f)  Make sure you have the proper swimming attire.  Keep your gear as form-fitting as possible during the race.  For training, it's good to have some drag just for the added workout benefit.



    Good luck!



  • Barry11 Legend 332 posts since
    Dec 5, 2007

    In addition to the previous post:  laps, lots and lots of laps

  • barelfly Amateur 9 posts since
    Sep 15, 2008


    The swimming is my least favorite of the three while training. But, to help me increase my endurance, I've set a goal my last few workouts to swim one more length (25m) for each set. This made me focus during each set and workout. The next set, I set the same goal, one more length and was able to go 150m per set. I am going for the next swim workout tomorrow, and will aim for 175m, which is one more length from last week. And since the swim portion is a 400m, by April, the distance should be ok to get through.



    Prior to setting a goal, I would just show up to the pool, swim 500m through various lengths and feel like I didn't accomplish much, and more I felt like I didn't do anything to increase my endurance.



    So, we'll see how this workout continues to progress, but it's helped for me. I've been training since january, and also trained Sept. - December 6 for my first tri and just put laps in to put laps in.



    Hopefully, this will help you.



    good luck with the tri!






  • Accent Fitness Amateur 28 posts since
    Feb 1, 2009

    Practice more in open water where the wall is not an option.  Of course, be safe and have a buddy and try to have fun.  You probably don't need to stop as often as you do in the pool.. its just a mental block.  Good luck!!

    Marlene Summers,

    USAT Certified Triathlon Coach

    NASM Certified Personal Trainer
    Accent Fitness
    "Accelerate your health, Accentuate your life"

  • muffin0328 Expert 39 posts since
    Jan 28, 2009

    Hey I had or have the same problem.  The best way I found is that you add a lap every time.  I posted a question similar to yours about a month ago, and that someone responded with that and that has worked the best.  Even my husband has started doing it that way, and he says the same thing.  I got really good and one day I swam a 800, which considering the month before I couldn't even swim 300 that was an awesome improvement.  I'm a little worried now because I haven't swam for about two weeks, because I was sick and my tri is a month away!! .  Just swim an extra lap and then like in two weeks you will notice you can swim more and might even be able to do the distance you need.

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