I have been coaching youth, and adults for the better part of 10 years now and there are some major differences.
I just wanted to put a short post on three common issues I see in triathletes.
- Sinking legs- This comes down to horizontal balance in the water, kicking yes but floating and being aware of how each body part plays a role in the balance is more important. Two things I see missed by many coaches is hands are too high in the extension, adults are often inflexible through the chest and shoulders so when the hands are near the surface during the rotation and extension phase of the stroke we see a downward pressure put on the hips. The second is a focus on kicking down, with tight ankles and hip flexors, the harder people kick often the more tension and drag is created, instead focus on lifting the heels up through the glutes.
- Slipping through the catch- Ultimately the pull defines the swimmers speed, so slipping in the catch is big trouble. There is a continuum of abilities on the catch and almost every swimmer can improve their catch regardless of ability. So what causes the slip? Most times it a balance issue through the extension, when the hands goes into the water rather than focusing on engaging the water and setting up for the large muscles to pull, its a reactionary movement down or to the side to balance the body. It is more often than not exasperated through the breath as well.
- Changing Speeds- This one is interesting and I believe comes from triathlon coaches coming from non-swim backgrounds. How many people have done a workout that looks like this 200m Swim 200m Kick 5*300m Pull at :10 Rest 5*100m Swim @ :10 Rest 200m Easy. I can easily go into training peaks and pull off multiple examples. Whats missing in the workout is the variance in speeds, there are effort keys like cruise, strong or allout or specific goals like descend, build or best average. Regardless of where an athlete is getting it we need to an ability to swim at different speed while maintaining form and relaxation.
Check out some of our 4 week programs in the store to help you work on these and many areas we can improve on.