I was 12 years old when I stopped swimming and after 30 years triathlon brought me back to a sport I once loved. As a child I used to like swimming, seeing how my brothers were trained by a very good coach I wished that I could also train with them but that wish never came to fruition and instead my brothers taught me the basics and betamax tapes helped me to some extent. Then I transferred to a seminary for my high school and swimming was gone for good... or so I thought. Back to the present and here I am struggling to correct my own stroke but knowing that I can swim gives me the confidence that somehow I can have a decent swim split (my standards are low) with just a handful of 25 minute workouts before a triathlon race. Here are some of the mistakes that I usually do during race day.
1. Split kicking - with my emphasis on the next legs - bike and run - I change my kick in triathlon as I intend to save leg strength and the result is an imbalanced kick. To avoid doing the same thing practice your two-beat kick just in case you are not prepared to kick correctly all the way to t1.
2. Forward looking head position - as triathlon necessitates sighting for the buoy and bodies all around I keep looking forward to navigate through the traffic and this position adds to my exhaustion. When bodies clear up avoid looking up and forward. Practice swimming straight even without floor lines.
3. Arms too high on recovery - I do not have the endurance to swim as fast as I would like to so I take all the time in the world to rest during recovery phase and put my arms so high to time it with my intended pace. With this stroke you can spot me from afar because this mistake is so unique and I don't wear a trisuit that narrows down the search.
Fitness plays a big role in endurance sports but good technique never goes out of style, and as flawed as my form could be it is comforting to know that some lessons learned from the past can make me a better swimmer than I am right now. Happy training and keep that feet wet!