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3 Most Common Mistakes all Beginner Triathletes Make Swimming

3 Most Common Mistakes all Beginner Triathletes Make Swimming

– Mornin’, trainiacs. Great swim, eh Chris? – Uh, what part? – The whole thing. – Oh, yeah, for sure; yeah, absolutely. – Totally good. So gang, I felt like basically
a brand new swimmer there. According to the watch it was 3600 meters, more like 3000 meters. That group is fast… So considering how much
of a noob I felt like it got me thinking, in
between holding back barf, what the three biggest mistakes the new triathletes make
when they start learning how to swim. And I got some simple fixes for ’em. As always, just a wealth
of knowledge here, gang. Alright guys, inside; it’s really cold. Minus 19 Celsius. Plus windchill. Windchill is like, is just really cold. So, this question came up over the weekend in the Trainiask Podcast, that I was recording
episodes for yesterday. And the question is, “What are the most common swim faults that new triathletes and
swimmers make in their first… Somebody said in their first few months, but I look back to when
I first started swimming; I was making these
mistakes for three years, and essentially not making any progress. And then, when I changed these habits, I made a huge amount of progress in just a matter of two
months by stepping back, entirely changing the
approach that I made. And I went from having somewhere around a 14:40 sprint distance swim time to, I think I got it as low as an 11:30. And, I didn’t swim any more;
I didn’t swim any longer. I just changed how I was swimming. These three mistakes are things
that, odds are very good, that you might be making. The number one biggest mistake is… I need some room for this. It is, as you’re swimming, you’re lifting your head to breathe. And that’s natural, because we wanna get up to the air… Water’s down there; air’s up there, so we wanna lift our head to breathe. What happens is, as we
lift our head to breathe, our legs go down, because our body is like a seesaw in the water because the fulcrum
point, the middle point, is our lungs which has all the air. And what you wanna do
is when you’re swimming to get your breath, instead
of lifting your head, you just wanna turn your
head, think of your body like a pig that’s being
roasted and you’re turning along the long axis, and
when you turn that way, water is gonna cascade around your head, and you’re gonna get a little
pocket of air right there that you can grab, instead
of having to lift your head all the way out to grab that air. And the drills that you wanna do to learn how to do this properly are things like the corkscrew drill; drills that teach you how
to float across the water, and once you’re floating across the water, then you just need to
turn to grab that breath. Now the second most common
mistake is just working too hard. It’s approaching the swim the
same way we do all sports: Football, soccer,
baseball, running, biking. The concept that the more
we push, the harder we go, the faster we’re gonna go, doesn’t apply in swimming really at all. Look at any masters swim group that is large enough
to have multiple lanes. You will see extremely fit
athletes, in the slow lanes, and you’ll see very unfit
athletes in the fast lanes. And that’s because swimming
is far more about technique, reducing drag, body
position, body awareness than it is about fitness. And I think that the
drills that you can do to actually change this mindset are learning how to calm
yourself down in the water. So you’re doing things like sink-downs, you’re doing things
like putting your hands on the side of the pool,
putting your face in the pool, it’s calming yourself so that
you don’t get into the water and all of a sudden you’ve got that adrenaline pumping
through your veins, and you’re like I gotta go, I gotta go! It’s learning how to bring
your heart rate down, and learning how to be calm,
and treat it more like yoga, tai chi, things like that. Third biggest, most
common problem that I see literally almost all triathletes making; I made it, I’m sure you’re making it… We got to pay the bills a little bit, and thank the sponsor for this video. Health IQ. If you’ve been around for a few weeks you know that Health IQ has
been sponsoring the podcast, and a couple of videos here and there, and I am so onboard for letting Health IQ get in front of you. – (mumbles) – And the reason for that is Health IQ is a life insurance agency that they have structured
their company in such a way that triathletes, former
cyclists, runners, vegans, basically us, the people
that take care of themselves can get as much as a 25 percent savings on their life insurance. And being a former investment advisor, that used to grate my
cheese that people like me that used to take care of myself. We would have to pay
basically as much as the burger and fries,
sitting-on-the-couch guy. I was essentially subsidizing
their life insurance. That is not the case with Health IQ. Totally onboard with them. If you want to get a quote and see if you can actually save on your life insurance, go to Or, if you end up just calling in, mention the code word: Teran, and that lets them know
that you came from here, and helps us out. And if you read through a
bunch of the old comments, you’ll know that we already have a solid handful of trainiacs
that have outright messaged me, and they’re like, yeah,
I saved a ton of money. It’s legit. Now the last, most common
issue that a lot of new triathletes go through
when they start swimming, is just swimming. When you start swimming,
even if you swam as a younger person, like you went through don’t drown level one,
don’t drown level two, it’s going to be
completely foreign to you. We spend all of our day
upright, in the air, and all of a sudden we’re
expected to be horizontal, face down in water. And people will go in and
they’ll just start swimming, and swimming, and swimming, and swimming, and you’re not going to make any progress, as a swimmer or triathlete,
if you just go in and swim, because you’re not focused
on getting comfortable, and all the techniques. So what I would recommend
to every single triathlete, is before you go and
join a masters program, or go and just start swimming on your own and thinking that you’re going
to be building up endurance and getting better as a swimmer just by putting in more time. Spend a bunch of time doing
drill work in the pool, getting comfortable,
building the foundations to become a good swimmer,
and I can guarantee that if you spend even just as little as two months doing that, you’re going to save yourself years of swimming in circles. Thank you to Health IQ. Go to If you’re aren’t yet subscribed, hit the subscribe button below. And sorry about the dogs ticking
around in the background.

20 thoughts on “3 Most Common Mistakes all Beginner Triathletes Make Swimming”

  1. I feel you in the beginning. I’m the slowest swimmer in the fast lane even though I’ve been swimming for ages. Just goes to show the type of people in my swim group (swimmers and triathletes).

  2. I was always taught that the top of my head was a headlight and I always want it pointing to the opposite side of the pool.

  3. Another great video with solid suggestions to be a better swimmer. I keep working on these and appreciate your perspective and reminder of their importance.

  4. Stupid Question time

    Hey taren , I see you wear a swim hat when swimming – is there a benefit to swimming with a hat ?

    I currently don’t , hence the question

  5. I did my fastest swim in a tri. I came out in the second pack (first pack, that age grouper has won every triathlon I’ve gone to). I was super proud. Usually the second last person out. I was in the top 5. Swim pace 1 min 51 seconds per 100m (average) which for my other tri was 2min 08 seconds. That’s a huge improvement. Did get some drag though ?

  6. Thanks Taren, in sum, 1) be the pig on the rotisserie, 2) relax, […(buy Taren's life insurance break for Ad)…] and at 6:10 3) spend a few months with drill fundamentals before you get too serious into a training group. Here is the 6:10 jump

  7. Can tell you I'm definitely working on the breathing part. I start to feel like a dolphin where every time I breathe I rise out of the water and then fall back in after. Then I signed up for your beginning swim drill e-mails. Once I started doing to corkscrew drill and began using my hips to rotate my body, it's helped me incredibly both with staying straight to not breathe like a dolphin, and also breathing and stroking easier and more efficiently! I thought I knew how to swim, but competitive swimming is definitely different than learning how not to drown when you're a kid. I've had to totally re-learn how to swim.

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