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Train for the Triathlon Swim in 2 Hours a Week

2016/7/21 10:45:09

Are you feeling overwhelmed with triathlon training?

Want to prepare for a race in 12 weeks, but you're having a hard time getting it all in with work and other obligations?

For swimming, it's important that you get ultra-focused in your workouts. No going to the pool and swimming mindless laps. For those who are wanting to get more out of less time spent training, here are five tips to put into action that will help you cut time off your training—and off your overall race:

More: 3 Steps to a Panic-Free Swim Start

Aim for Three 40-Minute Sessions a Week

For the first couple of weeks, I recommend just doing three pool swims and focusing a lot on drills and technique. Then, do the two pool swims and one open water swim. If you train for 12 weeks, that means you'd have swum in the open water 10 times and put in 400 minutes!

Focus on the Essentials

No wasting time with pull buoys and "sets without purpose". Everything you do in the pool should have a purpose. Even though you may be doing a lot of drills in the first couple of weeks of your training plan, it doesn't mean you should stop doing drills later. The "essentials" mean getting your balance in the water handled, making sure you can do a high elbow catch, and that you have an adequate kick. The rest is gravy.

More: 8 Tips for Open Water Newbies

Do Sprints Once a Week.

Just like in running, doing sprints in the pool can save you from needing to do massively long workouts in the pool. Once a week is enough. Think about combining middle distance swims (like 200s or 400s) with sprint 25s or 50s. An example would be 8x200 at a moderate pace with a 50 in between each one. The 50 is done as 25 sprint/25 easy. That can be the bulk of your workout for the day.

Strategically Use Fins

I have no love for "toys" when it comes to swimming! I prefer minimalism. But fins can help you accelerate your progress with drills. With most drills, you will start to "get it" much faster if you wear a pair of fins when you do them. Make sure they are the shorter-style fins, like Zoomers. Also resist the urge to wear the fins on swim sets later just to go faster.

More: 2 Drills to Increase Your Comfort in the Open Water

Think Quantity

Not quantity of yards or laps, but the number of times you get in the pool in a given week. You're much better off going three times at 40 minutes each time than to go twice and swim an hour. It's easy to lose the feel for the water, especially if you don't have a long history of swimming workouts. Of course, this doesn't mean quantity at the expense of quality. Try to be mindful of every stroke you take in the pool, especially towards the end of a workout when you are getting tired and feeling like you are falling apart.

With all that you have to do to get ready for a triathlon, swimming training needs to be done in the most efficient manner possible. Focus is the key to swim training in two hours a week and still having a successful and fun race.

More: Busy Pool? Lap Swim Etiquette for Sharing Lanes

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