Articles Blog

Pro Triathlete Swim Secrets With Richard Varga | Triathlon Swimming Tips

Pro Triathlete Swim Secrets With Richard Varga | Triathlon Swimming Tips

(electronic noises) – Today, I’m joined by one of the fastest swimmers in
triathlon, Richard Varga. Thank you for joining us, Richard. – Thank you for having me. – Now, I’m gonna picking
Richard’s brains to find out how, coming from a swimming background, he’s actually had to adapt
that to swimming in open water. So, my first question, obviously, you came from a swimming background, how does swimming in a pool differ to swimming in open water? – It is actually very different because not every good pool swimmers
can swim very good open water, and the same is open water swimmers can’t swim very good in a pool, so it’s a little bit different sport. I’m trying in open water
have higher cadence so I can, because I’m not having
turns, like in a pool, so I’m not resting that much, so my stroke is not as
powerful, so I’m using more slow twitch muscles for the open water so that’s makes a big difference. Then also it’s a bit different
with the breathing rhythm. – And so going on to the cadence, what drills or tips can you give people that will help them improve their cadence? – So for me it’s really good to swim with a bunt and with a pull buoy. That I think that’s naturally is helping you to have a higher cadence
otherwise you going sink down. So that’s I think the my best for the open water in a pool exercise and drill. – And when you get into the open water and you’re trying to a higher cadence, how do you know if you are and how do you make yourself
do that high cadence? – I think I just speak the rhythm and just feel it really be mindful how you feel. It’s not about what’s the number, for everyone it’s different number. I have really long arms, for some people it’s short
arms can do it even higher. For me, I’m on of the slowest
cadence in the triathlon but that’s the best for me so everyone has to find their own cadence. – [Host] Do you measure your cadence and do you know what it is? – Sometimes, but I’m not
really, really measuring this. – How many strokes in a length in a swimming pool do you swim? – I’m doing when I’m swimming fast, between 12 and 14 on 25 meters pool but when I am trying to go sometimes like more than eight or eight, yeah. – You talked about breathing being different from a swimming
pool to open water. How is it different and how
have you adapted to that? – Yeah, it’s very important
to sighting otherwise you’re gonna swim hundred meters more or sometimes two hundred
meters more or whatever and you can lose the gap for the next heat so it’s very important. We do sometimes training like
every fourth stroke I look forward and try to point
on somethings on the pool and that’s what I’m doing
sometimes in a session so I can really when I’m going out in the open water so I get the same rhythm. – How often, what is your breathing? Is your breathing rate the same in a swimming pool as it is in the open water? How many breaths per, how
many strokes per breath? – Every second, every second.
– Always. – Yes, you need as much
as possible the air. – [Host] And that’s the same
do you do ever two in the pool or did you cage that? – [Richard] In the hard
sessions, yes, every two, yes. – And before you were doing triathlon you still did every two,
so that’s not changed? – Not really changed.
– To open water? – I eight, when I was kid
I was swimming like three. Obviously when you’re doing
hundred meters freestyle you breathe as less as possible but if you’re doing 1500 meters race you want as much as possible air. – And how do you train for the difference in feeling for your buoyancy? Because in the swimming pool you’re swimming in just your swimming trucks and in open water normally it’s cold, you’ll be swimming in a wetsuit. – Yes.
– How do you find that change and what have you done
to help that change? – Yes, I’m trying to be
as much have the variation so I’m using pull buoy,
sometimes without pull buoy, sometimes I using the parachute. So it’s changing my position but I’m still trying to hold strong core and to be as high as possible
so I still move the very different positions so in a
race sometimes as you said in a swim wetsuit or in a sea you have different buoyancy so you have to be prepared
and you have to feel it. – And another big difference
I would say coming from a pool swim you’re used to having a
lane to yourself in a race. You’re in open water and
there’s people all around you, how did you get used to that? Admittedly for you there’s
more people behind you – Yeah.
– But at the start there’s people around you. How do you, did you
get use to that change? – Yeah, it’s still sometimes struggle. It’s something you never
can really get used to it because the triathlon
swimming is really contact. I think if you’re doing, I
were to just open water swim it’s not as bad so to triathlon because they know how
important is the first buoy and it’s really short so
everyone wants to be in the front so I’m trying to be, have
the best as possible start and then be on the front
and swim my own race. If this not happened I’m trying not panic, stay in some feet and
eventually get on the front. – [Host] And how have
you practiced for that? What have you done, how’s your training different to get used to doing that? – Yes, I ask the boys
to draft me on my hips or on my legs or beat me up
from one side, another side, so. – (laughs) This is a good tip.
– Yeah. – Get your friends to beat you up. – Yeah for one hour and
hopes you get used to it. – [Host] This is in the
pool where you practice swimming with people on your hips? – Yes, yes we sometimes do hundred or two hundred reps where one guy is using your hip and then you switch off so
you’re doing couple of these and one is resting, one
is going hard, yeah. – ‘Cause I think people often think, oh we need to practice
drafting on someones hips but actually you do at a race
have them on your hips too so I guess it’s
– Yes. – good to practice
– Yes, yes. – in both ways. And obviously water
temperature can vary so much from water in the swimming pool we’re lucky we have the same temperature. How did you get used to that change and adapting to swimming
in different temperatures? – Yeah, so I’m trying
once or twice a week go open water swimming even in April or May so I get used to the cold water as well. Or I swimming sometimes in
October here it’s quite cold so, if it’s possible I’m going outside as well so used to the cold water. – You’ve come from a swimming background and you’ve suddenly had to get your body used to cycling and running. I came from a swimming
background as well originally and I know that your
joints are very flexible and it’s hard for your
legs to get used to it. How have you made that change? What have you had to do to be able to make your body strong
enough to cycle and run? – Yeah, it’s really hard work. I spent like last 15 years
to work on the strength of my ankles and mobility and
flexibility to be little bit stronger so I think the stretch
exercises in the gym that helps but also just practice
the swim, bike, run. – Great, well Richard thank you so much. Some great tips there that we’re definitely gonna take from it so thanks. – Thank you very much for having me. – And hit the globe to subscribe to make sure you don’t miss any
other videos from GTN. And if you want to learn how to perfect your beach exit after an open water swim. That video is just here. – And if you want to see video
about swimming in wetsuit or without wetsuit, click in here.

18 thoughts on “Pro Triathlete Swim Secrets With Richard Varga | Triathlon Swimming Tips”

  1. Perfect timing Heather!! I have my first Olympic distance this weekend. I have a background in swimming so this is perfect to understand the difference in open water! Thank you!

  2. I like to hear that he's breathing every two. I always feel like three is not enough air for me, but I thought maybe my breathing technique is not good enough or I just have to adapt more. now I have a reason 😀

  3. Proper OWS events have more respect between swimmers. I've been punched and pushed under much more in triathlons than in long distance swim events. I'd advise some MMA training to give as good as you get.

  4. I love your channel really don't get me wrong but why does everything have to be a secret. As an intermediate triathlete (maybe others are also in my case), we are flooded with "secrets" in every single piece of information in triathlon.

  5. I just want to say thank you for putting out these videos! I just did my first triathlon today, a sprint, and I'm hooked! I watched so many of your videos to make sure that I was prepared. I couldn't train as much as I wanted to but I made sure that I knew some of the best techniques so that I would be as fast/strong as possible with limited training. I'm hooked!

  6. We need a new triathlon type system without running, another low impact activity that matches the low impact bike n swim and keeps it suitable for all ages and slightly less able. Rowing perhaps

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *