March 5, 2013
FLO Cycling - Don't do These in Triathlon Swimming by Gerry Rodrigues
Gerry Rodrigues will be no stranger to those of you who have been following us for a while. Gerry is the head coach of Tower 26 and is easily one of best open water and triathlon swimming coaches in the world. I've been fortunate enough to swim with Gerry on a couple occasions now and every time I do, I leave a better swimmer. A while ago, Gerry and I did an interview where we spoke about Triathlon Swimming's Golden Rules. The article was very popular and if you haven't read it, I suggest you do.
Gerry's newest article on his blog discusses everything you should not do while triathlon swimming. Unfortunately, with the vast amount of swimming information available today, many swimmers end up following the wrong advice and focus on things that simply are not going to make them better swimmers.
Before we get started, check out the Tower 26 Blog and Facebook Page for more great information like this.
Please leave your comments below or send Gerry a message at his email at the bottom of this article.
Don't do These in Triathlon Swimming
1. Breathe every third stroke or higher.
2. Hold your breath before expulsion.
3. Breathe through your nose.
4. Take short, shallow breaths.
5. Linger while taking a breath.
6. Focus on front quadrant or catch-up style swimming.
7. Over rotate with hips.
8. Have low strokes rates.
10. Be “loose” in the water.
11. Be a “scrunchy” swimmer, i.e. look like a fetus.
12. Have a big focus on Distance Per Stroke (DPS).
13. Focus on least strokes across the pool.
14. Cup your hands.
15. “Salute” by placing your hand close to your forehead at entry.
16. Swim with straight arms under water.
17. Have your hands cross your mid-line underwater.
18. Have your hands enter or pull outside your shoulder line.
19. Have your elbow below your wrist/hand underwater.
20. Pet the “kitty” underwater, i.e. don’t have a floppy, gentle, or loose hand underwater.
21. Do the “S” stroke.
22. Cut your stroke short at the finish.
23. Do mostly pool swimming drills.
24. Do sculling.
25. Focus on kicking harder.
26. Ignore using an ankle strap or swim snorkel.
27. Think working on technique solves it all.
1. Train at one speed only.
2. Swim straight workouts.
3. Swim in open water only.
4. Swim long, non-stop open water sessions only.
5. Have your main swim set(s) less than 50% of your workout time.
6. Not vary your workout composition.
7. Follow what Andy Potts does or any faster known swimmer/triathlete.
8. Follow instruction from Michael Phelps’ coach. Would you listen to Usain Bolt’s coach?
9. Wait until three or four weeks before your race to swim.
10. Eliminate warm-up or have small ones.
11. Forget to incorporate fast swimming in every workout. (May differ for some pros).
12. Wear fins in your main swim set.
13. Always use your pull buoy.
14. Wear big hand paddles. (Especially the pros who can’t drive them correctly).
15. Run or ride before key swim workouts.
16. Think just building your engine only will make you improve.
17. Think more is always better.
18. Train just hard every day.
1. Race in a wetsuit or goggles without testing them first.
2. Use a wetsuit too tight in the shoulders.
3. Race without a proper warm-up. (Everyone, pros alike, are guilty of this).
4. State to self: “I just need to get to my bike.”
5. Start in front if not a fast swimmer.
6. Sprint the start if not prepared for such.
7. Be afraid of a rip current at the start.
8. Emphasize drafting. (Can be different for some pros).
9. Forget to sight frequently.
10. Sight “water-polo” style. (May be different for some pros).
11. Just follow the person in front of you.
12. Swim in the middle of the pack.
13. Breathe every third stroke.
14. Tap feet unless you want a broken nose.
15. Swim with pool-polished strokes in choppy conditions.
16. Only measure your improvement by time.
17. Ignore the one body length rule (mainly for elite athletes).
1. Think you can improve your swim on your own.
2. Hire a coach without specific triathlon swim/swim coaching experience.
3. Listen to fast swimmers on technique, unless they understand open water needs (most don’t).
4. Expect pool coaches to know much about open water technique for triathletes. They don’t.
5. Think any coach knows it all.
*6. Hire a coach just because they have a coaching credential or coached some named athlete.
7. Hire a coach if swimming is neither their strength nor yours (by the way, same applies to bike and run).
8. Hire a coach who can’t/won’t explain why they prescribe their training.
9. Hire a coach who thinks there is only one training route (theirs) to performance.
10. Put stock in coaches who state swim is not important. The sport is S-B-R!
11. Only swim in a Masters group if there isn’t a focus for triathletes.
12. Forget to thank your coach – some still do it for free.
1. Read or follow non-proven coaching instruction.
2. Watch YouTube swimming.
3. Buy a wetsuit based on price or endorsement.
4. Think a swim lesson, clinic, camp, or short training block in itself will make a difference.
1. Think you can be competitive (front pack) on less than 30k a week without a prior swim background.
3. Train your swim sessions like your bike or run sessions.
3. Run or bike before a key swim session.
*4. Race without a proper warm-up. Little has changed here in 31 years since watching my first tri; shocking actually.
5. Waste your time swimming Andy Potts’ workouts. You’re not him.
*6. Skip acquiring open water skills, no matter how fast you are. Many lack these.
7. Do all your swim training in a pool.
8. Train your strength more if swim is your weakness.
*9. Over-rest your swim going into a race unless a competitive swimmer.
*10. Wear those huge paddles. Not even some elite swimmers can drive them correctly.
11. Do the “S” stroke.
*12. Breathe every third stroke or higher in a race.
Good luck in your quest for improvement. Gerry Rodrigues.
If you wish to add to the list, send me an email with your don’t: email@example.com