As technical as the sport of swimming can be, it is tough to narrow down the answer to the often-asked question, ³what should I concentrate on?² So, the Rock Star Triathlete Academy at http://www.rockstartriathleteacademy.... asked triathlon swim coach Kevin Koskella about his top tips for how to swim better, and he came up with a ³top ten² list of steps to improving your swim for a triathlon. These aren¹t necessarily in any order, but should go a long way in helping teach you how to swim better for triathlon, whether you are just a beginner or trying to go pro!
1. Hand Entry. Slice your hand into the water right about at your goggle line, and drive it forward. When learning how to swim, many swimmers attempt to get as much ³air time² as possible by reaching the hand out before entering into the water, but it is actually more efficient to go through the water with your hand as you rotate from one side to the other.
2. Head Position. Keep looking straight down when swimming freestyle. It¹s important to keep your head down with only a small part of the back of your head out of the water. Also, as you rotate through the water, try not to move your head with the rest of your body rotation.
3. Pull. In freestyle, your hands should pull all the way back past your hips. The last part of the stroke before recovery (arms coming out of the water) should be an acceleration behind you, and not up out of the water.
4. Kick. An important part of learning how to swim for triathlon is to try minimizing your kick. Most people will kick extra hard to make up for lack of balance in the water. Minimizing your kick will allow you to improve your balance, as well as conserve energy.
5. Training Intensity. The best way to measure your training intensity is to count your heart rate immediately after each swim. You can estimate your heart rate by counting your pulse rate for six seconds immediately after each workout. Add a zero to this count, and you will have your approximate exercise heart rate per minute. Knowing your intensity, rather than just "exercising" is a very important part of learning how to swim.