What if You’re Not Ready for the “Re” Yet: Just the Wet

I just read Katie’s post about getting back in the water for the first time in a year. I think it is awesome that she’s making that commitment to herself and I totally understand how she feels to be back in the water. You can tell it was a seamless transition for her, but her post got me thinking…

What about someone who is new to the water?

3,000 meters is no joke for most people. It is way further than most triathlon plans recommend, even for advanced triathletes. It got me thinking about how a beginner triathlete could modify Katie’s more advanced workout to meet their needs while maintaining it’s integrity.

This is what I came up with for someone who is capable of doing only freestyle and backstroke and does about 500 meters max in a practice:

1 x 100 warm up = 25 swim/ 25 kick on stomach breathing to the front/ 25 kick on back/ 25 free

2 x 50s breathing side, side, front as needed

4 x 25s free: 25 drill/ 25 kick/ 25 swim/ 25 kick HR= 150

2 x 50s free breathing side, side, front as needed

1 x 100 free HR = 160-170 on :30 rest

2 x 50s warm down, alternating 25 free/ 25 back

Total Meters = 600

I shortened the warm up without losing the kick. I think it is important for a new swimmer to learn how kick without relying on fins. On race day, when things get tough, you will need your legs. You need to practice kicking because it will increase your stamina and help teach you how to balance swimming fast without compromising your bike or run later in the race.

I eliminated the snorkel because I figured that most new swimmers wouldn’t own a freestyle snorkel and shouldn’t feel pressured into buying one until they know that they like triathlons (or are at least committed to them). You’ll notice that I replaced the snorkel with a breathing pattern. I did that for two reasons:

1) You should always be focused on something
2) In a triathlon you will need to incorporate front breathing to keep from swimming in the wrong direction.

I thought it was important to get the heart rate up during the 100. I wanted the swimmer to feel tired at the end of the workout because it simulates what they might feel during the end of their swim leg in a race. That is also the reason I specified that they only get :30 seconds rest between finishing the 100 and going into their warm down. The warm down should still be swum slowly, I just wanted them to go into it tired because there isn’t much time between the water and bike transition. Triathlons are all about forward movement, even after a fast swim. Especially after a fast swim.

You’ll also notice that I snuck in an extra 100 meters. I did that because athletes have to get out of their comfort zones if they want to improve.

Categories: Training

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