If you are looking for swim gear or information about triathlon swimming including wetsuits, this is a good place to start.
So many triathletes start this sport with swimming as their weakest of the three elements. And then, there are many of us who have had to learn to swim as adults in order to get started in this sport. On top of it all are the time constraints we all seem to have on our training: if something has to get cut, it often seems to be swimming (at least so it seems for me!). While we can't help solve the time crunch, what we can do is try to provide you the tools and resources to make your training more efficient and more enjoyable. Here is a list of swimming tools a triathlete should consider for their gear bag:
- Swim cap and goggles.
- Chlorine removing shampoo and body wash.
- Pull buoys
- Hand paddles.
Those are the basics. As for selecting a specific piece for your own training, the choices can be overwhelming. Swim caps, though, are an easy one: a silicone cap will be more comfortable and last longer. Other than that, just pick one that makes you happy. "Beware of Swimmer" or "Princess" might be fun but not all of us like to make a statement when we swim. Maybe a solid colour is the way to go. As for pull buoys, one peice vs two piece options are a matter of personal choice and comfort. Either will work just fine. And, yes, you can find them for free at many public pools but do you really want to put them where everyone else has? It's nice to have your very own pair! And pull buoys are ideal for these on those days after your long ride or run when your legs just need a rest. Also, pull buoys can mimic the body position you will be in when you wear a wetsuit. As for paddles, I use a few different styles and sizes of paddles for different types of swim sets. If you do a lot of swimming on your own, look for something like the Finis Agility Paddle that gives you feedback on your swim stroke while working on swim strength. And for fins, I prefer fins that are engineered for swim training like the Tech Pro fin. It is a short blade fins that enables you to keep your normal kick cadence and puts the force emphasis onto your legs rather than your ankles. Lastly, and totally optional is a snorkel, I have to admit I don't have one right now. I haven't replaced it since my last one was stolen while I was in the shower. A snorkel can help you even out your swim stroke and can help you with some drills.)
There is no substitute for time in the pool and for quality swim instruction and feedback from a good coach. We can help you with that: check out the schedule for Element swim training to see if it fits into your schedule.
If you are swimming on your own or with a group, we will post articles and links here to articles of interest to swim training for triathlon. As our sport evolves, there are now seeing triathlon specific swim training programs and discussions of open water swim technique being different from pool swimming. Element swim training is structured with these newly recognized philosophies both in terms of the structuring of the training sessions and in technique focus.