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Triathlon Swimming Technique

Improving your triathlon swimming technique can have a significant impact upon your performance in triathlon races.

Being more confident and better positioned in open water can lead to you exiting the swim less fatigued from the melee of swimming in the pack, as well as further up the field and therefore in a better position on the bike.

Even if you’re doing a pool swim, good technique still has the same benefits.

Triathlon swimming technique is not just about the basics of your stroke, although that is part of it. It is also about psychology (confidence, tactics), and specific open water skills such as sighting, starts, and understanding how water behaves in rivers and the sea.

open water swimming

Where To Start Improving Your Triathlon Swimming Technique?

The first area to address is your basic stroke. Water is such a thick medium to move through that you have to have good technique to move efficiently.

This means having a:

  • Good body position in the water (streamlined body and legs, balanced head position)
  • Balanced stroke that is controlled and well timed (body roll and breathing)
  • Strong propulsion (arms through catch, pull, finish and recovery, and your kick).

In practice these key points will translate into different triathlon swimming techniques for different people, and there are also many different ways of practicing and learning good technique.

We recommend Swim Smooth to any triathlete wanting to know more about the technical side of swimming and how to improve their  technique. They are a company devoted to improving people’s swimming experience.

meet mr smooth: swim smooth's ideal freestyle stroke animation

Their expertise in this highly specialised area, and the quality of their resources is outstanding.

They have a very unique approach to swimming, that doesn't require everyone to have the same stroke.  Many coaches will try to make your stroke longer and longer, however this does not suit everyone, and there are numerous examples of successful athletes using different strokes.

Swim Smooth embrace this and provide guidance on how to improve your preferred stroke.  By classifying individuals based upon physical size and proportions and by natural stroke preference, they have created a number of different Swim Types.  Using these classifications and the advice with them can help you to iron out the major flaws in your stroke style and improve your technique.

In order to do this Swim Smooth have devised resources that enable you to really drill down to the important areas of stroke mechanics to help you become better, including some really high quality videos and modelling resources.

They also have some excellent resources and tips for swimming open water, such as sighting, navigation, wetsuit vs. non wetsuit swimming.

We recommend using their approach to learning triathlon swimming technique in conjunction with our approach to triathlon training to help improve your triathlon swimming performance and triathlon swim training.

As well as a lot of informative articles and videos on the Swim Smooth website, they have two great products we would recommend.

Learn To Swim Freestyle

First up, for beginner triathletes or novice swimmers, we would recommend the ‘Learn To Swim Freestyle’ programme.

This DVD is for you if you are new to swimming, find it a challenge or have never had any technical input to your swimming stroke.

Do you want to:

The DVD is built a round a simple to follow, 10 step process that is enjoyable to follow. The process is also unique, you won’t get swimming lessons at your local pool that use the same effective process.

The great thing about this DVD is that the coach demonstrates the 10 steps and teaches two novice swimmers using this process. They are initially anxious in the water, and you can see how the techniques used help them overcome this and improve their swimming.

The DVD includes:

  • Exercises to help you develop a feel for the water
  • Land-based exercises
  • Simple drills and swimming exercises
  • Demonstrations by expert swimmers.

What we also really like about this DVD is that it includes some common problems and how you can overcome them, and also detailed advice so that if you have a swimming training buddy, advisor or coach helping you, they have something to refer to, to help you follow the programme.

Also included is a waterproof booklet for you to take to the pool to remind you what to do.

Get that wonderful feeling of being totally relaxed in the water, gliding along fluidly and effortlessly!

Visit the Swim Smooth website to find out more about this product.

Clean Up Your Stroke

swim smooth's DVD BOXSET - everything you need to improve your swimming out of sight!

The Swim Smooth box-set “Clean-up Your Stroke” is designed specifically for triathletes and open water freestyle swimmers. As well as the DVDs, it also contains a training programme.

The box-set consists of 2 DVDs and a CD-ROM, all together containing more than 2.5 hours of information.

If you are a fairly inexperience swimmer, this box-set is great for you as it gives you a simple, easy to use, step-by-step guide to follow.

If you are a more accomplished swimmer, it provides you with a complete, visual resource of valuable training techniques to help you improve your technique even further. 

  • The First DVD Aims To Correct Your Stroke Technique.

It contains over 30 pool-based drills, looking at 7 areas of swimming technique, demonstrated by Australian Olympic Swimming Gold Medallist Bill Kirby. Instructions come from swim smooth head coach Paul Newsome, and Swim Smooth’s physio, who adds biomechanical expertise.

The best thing about this DVD is that it helps you to find mistakes within your own triathlon swimming technique. Not only that, but it helps you determine the underlying cause of your stroke problems, which means you can then use the best drills to fix that problem.

  • DVD 2 Is On Open Water Swimming Technique.

Being able to swim technically well in the pool is one thing, but doing it in open water is a whole different challenge, and is often something that beginner triathletes worry about most.

This DVD helps you translate your improved triathlon swimming technique into the open water, race environment.

Specific aspects to improving swimming technique in the water are also addressed.

  • The CD-Rom Contains A 25 Session Swimming Training Programme

It has novice, intermediate and advanced levels to choose from. It is designed to help you focus on improving your swimming technique, through both drill sets and fitness training.

We believe there is no better or simpler way to improve your freestyle stroke than The Swim Smooth DVD Boxset.

The fact that is has become the benchmark stroke correction DVD in the swimming and triathlon world surely supports this!

Visit the Swim Smooth website to find out more about this product.

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