Don’t jump in the water without knowing these 6 swimming tips

Most triathletes come from the running or cycling world. There are some who start as swimmers, but often, swimming is the last added specialty. However, this doesn’t make swimming any less important in your triathlon journey. Some say it is the most critical aspect because it’s the first event in a triathlon. Make sure you’re prepared to sail through the water toward a successful race day. Incorporate these 6 swimming tips that every beginner triathlete should know. They’ll help you through the beginning phase of your swimming so you can work towards your triathlon goals. It’s not a bad idea for veteran triathletes to brush up on these 6 swimming tips too! 

Pro tip: add these swimming tips to this additional beneficial advice when you start triathlon training.

Important swimming tips for beginner triathletes

  1. Practice breathing

Breathing may come naturally when running and cycling, but swimming requires you to practice the rhythm. You’re not above water the entire time! With a comfortable underwater breathing practice, you will ensure that you are not short of breath. The key is to ensure you get enough oxygen without disrupting your form.

  1. Fight the instinct

The more you practice swimming, the better.

Swimming is a counter-intuitive exercise. Remembering this will help you in fighting with your basal survival and panic instincts. This takes time as you need to override your natural thoughts such as kicking hard and fast, looking forward, and lifting up of the head to breathe. The more your practice, the better. Swimming in cold water can increase the chances you panic. Knowing about swimming in cold water’s benefits and these safety tips can decrease those chances.

  1. Break it down

Separate your initial learning into segments using milestones rather than distance. These segments could include getting water comfortable, understanding your gear, floating, and efficiently moving forward. Eventually, you will become comfortable with those and distance will become your milestones. The right pair of swim goggles can make a massive difference when you first start out.

  1. Be consistent

Distance isn’t the only aspect of swimming you should focus on as a beginner. Focus on keeping your swimming consistent and maintaining good quality. The more often you practice, the more likely you are to flush out bad habits and see improvement. Add swimming in open water to your routine so you become more comfortable. Pair consistency with this advice and you’ll get over any open-water fears.

  1. Rock your hips

Work on your technique to become more efficient.

You have to rock your hips with every stroke. This roll of the body will help you in the smooth moving of your arms and provide more power. This, in turn, will make it easier for you to find air to breathe when you turn your head.

  1. Focus on technique

Beginner swimming sessions should mainly be about technique. A controlled and smooth swim will make you exert less energy and speed up your progress. Better swimming technique keeps your stroke continuous without any pauses or stops. This will help you maintain momentum and keep you high up in the water.

If you are a beginner triathlete, these basic swimming tips will make you more at ease in the water. They will also help you conserve energy so you can perform better on the bike and run. Even though swimming may not be your favorite portion of the triathlon, these tips will help you handle it like a pro.

Learn about the benefits and safety tips of swimming in cold water

Swimming in cold water is an exhilarating experience. It’s a fantastic way to get fit, unwind, and strengthen both your mind and body. Swimming laps in chilly water can wake you up and make you feel alive in a way that no warm swimming pool can. For triathletes, cold waters are a vital part of training. They can provide you with more space and fewer swimmers since everyone won’t flock to the cold swimming areas. Read about the importance of goal-setting and establish short- and long-term swimming goals. Learn why taking an icy dip can be good for you and how to accomplish it safely.

The benefits of swimming in cold water

  1. Increase stress tolerance

Swimming in cold water has many benefits.

Swimming in cold water is scientifically documented to improve psychological markers of stress tolerance. The shock and adaptation you experience make your body thrive under stress in the long run, not just tolerate it. Swimming in cold water increases the adaption even more. Just like any other physical activity, it’s an excellent method to relieve stress. If you’re still wary of open water swimming, utilize these 5 tips to help you overcome your fear of open water.

  1. Improved circulation

Coldwater imposes vasoconstriction on your blood vessels, followed by a period of compensatory vasodilation. This forces your body to warm your core when you enter the cold water. It then creates a dilation when blood rushes to your extremities to warm them up again. This process of alternation between constriction and dilation dramatically improves overall circulation.

  1. Superior calorie burn

Wearing a wetsuit can help you retain body heat.

Swimming against cold waters forces your body to thermoregulate more than usual while you focus your mind and body on the difficult task of swimming. It also improves fat metabolization which makes you leaner and healthier in the long run. Swimming is considered a complete workout because you’re using every part of your body.

Follow these safety tips

  1. Start small

Gradually immerse yourself in the chilly waters when swimming. Practice at home by slowly increasing the amount of cold water in your shower. It will be difficult to control your breathing initially, but continued training can halve the amount of time you need to adjust to the cold. When building workouts, begin with shorter distances. This allows your body to acclimate to the temperature and adjust your breathing technique.

  1. Make friends

Swimming might be a solo sport, but that shouldn’t stop you from doing it with your friends.

Find your local swimming groups and participate in group swims. Group swims can help you study your surroundings better and have fun. You could also have an extra pair of eyes in case something goes wrong. Don’t forget about the accountability factor. Knowing your friend or group is meeting you for a workout increases the likelihood that you show up too.

  1. Wear a wetsuit

A wetsuit retains body heat and allows you to focus on the mechanical aspects of swimming first. It also helps to minimize the impact of the cold water. You can then focus on your form, sighting, kicking, and breathing in the water. You could eventually graduate to wearing wetsuit shorts. Pro tip: extend the life of your wetsuit with these instructions.

What you need to get started

  • gym bag to carry all your gear
  • towel
  • wetsuit
  • swim goggles
  • extra clothes for after your swim

Swimming in cold water is possibly one of the most challenging feats a triathlete can face. It can be intimidating and difficult, but engaging in a gradually increasing training regimen with small increments can work wonders. Stay safe with our advice and practice often. Eventually swimming in cold water won’t even bother you. If you’re new to triathlon, explore these additional tips to start triathlon training.