Learning How to Swim for Triathlon

How to Swim a Triathlon – Breathing, Treading Water and Swimming a Freestyle Stroke and Safety.

For those who are afraid of the water, we would highly recommend finding a swim coach or instructor who is patient, empathetic, and compassionate. Don’t be afraid of embarrassing yourself in a swimming pool environment particularly when there are kids around, you are all there to overcome the fear and become a proficient swimmer. 

Being a beginner can be tough. Maybe you are uncomfortable in a swimsuit, or you just don’t feel like you know what you are doing when you go to the pool. Don’t worry, every swimmer has gone through this.

Whether you are new to triathlons or have been a long-time pro, there are a few things to know before you head out into the water. This article will cover the basics of breathing, treading water, and swimming a freestyle stroke.

Don’t set expectations. It is perfectly normal to have high expectations and feel a little disappointed after your first time swimming.

How to work towards being unafraid.

  • Once in the water, stay in the shallow end and begin with some basic water adaptation: putting your chin, mouth, face, half your head, and then your whole head under the water.
  • Blow bubbles on the surface, then underwater—for a few seconds.
  • Holding onto the side of the pool, dunk your head under the water, blow a few bubbles, and then come back up. Repeat several times.
  • Still holding onto the wall, practice the streamlined position, and get used to your body floating on the water. Gently introduce some kicking.
  • When you feel comfortable, repeat this streamline/float without holding onto the wall, and start to add in some forward glides, practising gliding into the wall.
  • Next, it’s time to focus on breathing. Standing in the shallow end, take a breath with your face on the surface of the water and your head turned to your most comfortable side. Gently exhale as you turn your head into the water towards the bottom of the pool. When you turn to the side to inhale, turn just enough to take your breath, with one goggle/eye coming out of the water.
  • Next, progress to kicking on the wall, holding onto the wall with your arms outstretched, face in the water, eyes down, and turning your head to breathe when needed as you will when swimming freestyle.
  • Start by doing four lengths of any style – backstroke, breaststroke, crawl or butterfly. If this is difficult, hold a float to your chest and just kick your legs. Increase the number of lengths you do each time you swim. For example, over four weeks, gradually increase to 20 or 30 lengths a session


Whether you’re training for your first triathlon or just trying to improve your swimming, correct breathing while swimming a triathlon is an important part of the process. Breathing correctly not only helps you stay calm while swimming, but it can also boost your performance.

There are two basic breathing techniques. You can breathe on either side of the pool, or you can breathe to one side all the time. While breathing on one side can improve your balance while swimming, breathing on one side all the time can reduce your adaptability and make you more vulnerable to the water.

Breathing to one side all the time can lead to imbalance, shoulder pain, and a lopsided stroke. Bidirectional breathing helps improve your swimming technique by teaching you how to breathe efficiently on both sides. You’ll improve your mechanics on both sides of your body and you’ll be able to switch comfortably as needed.

Bidirectional breathing can be used for warm-ups, easy aerobic sets, and sprints. It also can help you improve your timing by increasing the amount of time between breaths by 50%. It also protects the pockets of air you’ll find in open water.

When you’re breathing, it’s important to keep your head still, and not move it when you’re not breathing. Over-rotating your head during this time can cause you to lose sight of the water.

When you’re breathing, you’ll also want to keep your chin slightly tilted into your chest. If your chin is too far out of your chest, you’ll have a hard time breathing out of your nose. A good rule of thumb is to breathe out for twice as long as it takes you to inhale.

Freestyle stroke


Regardless of whether you’re a beginner or an experienced triathlete, learning the freestyle stroke is an important part of your triathlon training. This stroke is also the fastest in competition, propelling you through the water with little energy.

If you’re new to swimming, you’ll probably start with a front crawl, but you can switch to other strokes as you progress. This can help you get used to the stroke while still ensuring you’re meeting the stroke guidelines.

One of the first things you should know about swimming is that you’ll need to breathe. This is because you’ll be pulling your arms through the water. You’ll need to breathe before each stroke and during each stroke.

You’ll also need to know where to put your hands. You’ll want to place your hands in the right position, which will determine your power and efficiency.

Another thing to know is that you should breathe through your nose during the stroke. If you breathe through your mouth, you’ll lose efficiency.

You should also keep your head in line with your body. Front crawl is also the simplest in triathlon because it uses synchronized arm movements. Smiling is also a good idea, as it helps you focus on the stroke’s elements.

Another thing to remember is that you should relax during the recovery phase. This will help you avoid straining your neck. You can also use recovery drinks. These can also serve as temporary food.

The stroke’s other notable feature is the kick. If you’re in a wetsuit, you’ll want to focus on your shoulders and arm movements during this phase. This is a good time to lift your elbows higher than your wrists, as this will maximize your forward motion.



Whether you are looking to swim a triathlon for the first time, or you are already a veteran triathlete, you will want to choose the right stroke. Choosing the right stroke will help you to improve your overall performance.

While there are many strokes, breaststroke is the go-to stroke for most triathletes. Breaststroke offers a wide range of benefits, including easy breathing and the ability to relax while still swimming. The downside is that it is not as fast as other styles. It is also more taxing, so you will have to exert more energy to achieve the same result.

If you are a beginner triathlete, breaststroke may be the best option for you. If you have a strong core, it will help you to keep your body in shape and swim your triathlon in less time.

It also has a variety of benefits, including the ability to help you navigate through the water. Breaststroke is also known for being less taxing on your body, which makes it a good choice for those who need to build up their endurance.

As with any swim stroke, breaststroke requires proper technique. Using the right form will help you avoid muscle pain and fatigue. Breaststroke also requires you to make the right stroke choices, including the proper timing for each phase of the stroke.

Another stroke that is commonly used during triathlons is freestyle. Freestyle is the fastest style of swimming, and it also offers a wide range of benefits. It allows you to breathe freely, and it improves your shoulder flexibility. It is also useful in choppy water.

While it is not as fast as the front crawl or freestyle, breaststroke is a great option for beginner triathletes. It is also an easy stroke to learn.

Treading water

Whether you’re swimming in an open water pool or an Ironman triathlon, treading water is the best way to get afloat. It’s also a good way to conserve energy and stay warm. Treading water is a valuable skill that can save a life. It’s also a good way for a beginner to get a grip on water safety.

There are many different techniques for treading water, but the eggbeater kick is probably the most common. This is a simple way to get a smooth gliding motion while treading water.

Another swimming trick is to swim near a wall and use your arms to propel yourself through the water. This is especially important if you’re swimming in an open water pool, where there are no lane ropes to help you navigate your way around.

You can also try swimming near a float, which is a fun way to keep your head above water. This technique requires some practice, so it’s not always possible for beginners.

The best way to get a good grip on this technique is to practice in a swimming pool. You can also hang on to a lifeguard boat or training partner to help you practice.

Treading water can also be a fun way to relax and boost your confidence. It’s also a good way of building strength and stamina. You should also consider treading water if you plan on swimming in a deep water pool. This is especially important for young children.

The most important thing to remember when it comes to treading water is to have fun. You can do this by making the most of each stroke and taking some rest along the way.


Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned triathlete, the safety of swimming in a triathlon is critical. Aside from knowing your race course, you should also be aware of the dangers of swimming in open water. In fact, swimming in open water has become one of the most common causes of fatalities in endurance events.

Open Water Safety Tips
  • 1.- Swim in a designated swimming area. …
  • 2.- When in doubt, get out. …
  • 3.- Know the conditions. …
  • 4.- Never Swim Alone. …
  • 5.- Choose the right equipment. …
  • 6.- Understand currents. …
  • 7.- No Alcohol. …
Image resultSwim Secure - ChillSwim Safety Buoy - Tow FloatA key aspect here is to focus on your breathing and keeping it steady like you would when swimming in your local pool. The minute you start to panic, your breathing pattern will change. The same goes for your stroke and keeping it smooth, and remember to keep on catching the water with each underwater pull.

Other safety measures include swimming in natural bodies of water rather than regulated ocean areas. Swimmers should also wear a swim cap and a wetsuit to help them keep warm and add buoyancy. Some municipalities require a swimmer to wear a flotation device.

Swimming safely can give you a sense of security and confidence, which is important in a sport that requires an extreme amount of physical fitness. Fortunately, a few simple tips will help you to enjoy your triathlon experience without unnecessary worry.

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