Team Ali’i Swim Coach, Jeff Torbeck, rocked “The Rock” by finishing the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon this past weekend. Jeff had a strong race overall, and finished the 1.5 mile swim from Alcatraz in only 38 minutes. Jeff is a distance swimmer who swam throughout his childhood on summer and year-round teams, as well as for his high school and Cal Poly. When it comes to improving your swim, Jeff suggests focusing on drills…
Utilizing swimming drills to work on technique should be the main focus at the beginning of the season for swim workouts. This is the time when you are starting adding base to start building a good foundation for the season. However, building a base of swim yardage while practicing bad technique can be counter productive.
Swimming very much follows the old saying “practice doesn’t make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect”
Take the time during your early workouts to make your stroke more efficient so you can swim faster, get more yardage in during workouts, and conserve energy for later in the race. Your early workouts should be less focused on yardage than later in the season so its the perfect time to spend extra time on technique.
Start your workouts with some easy warm up laps then go into different drills to work on balance in the water, rotation, and the amount of water you are holding onto throughout your strokes.
(Drill examples are single switch, triple switch, finger tip drag, catch up, and side kick)
Making changes to your stroke early in the season will give you all season to practice these changes and will get your body re-trained so that when you get into a race you don’t have to think about technique you can just race.
So get out there, spend time on the drills, focus on perfect practice, and see how much faster and less tired you are coming out of the water into T1!