Swimming Strokes And Tips In Triathlon

For many people, the swimming part of a triathlon is the most challenging. The right triathlon swimming stroke can help you finish better and increase your endurance.

Most triathlons take place in the open water with hundreds of other swimmers, which is why your triathlon swimming stroke is so important.

We’re going to investigate which triathlon swimming strokes and tips give you the best chance to succeed during your race.

Freestyle (Front crawl)

Free photo young man swimming in lakeThere is no doubt that the freestyle stroke is the best to use when swimming in a triathlon. It is much faster and more efficient than any other stroke.

When using freestyle swimming as a triathlon swimming stroke in open water, your catch, pull, body rotation, and breathing will stay the same. However, here’s how to adapt your pool-style freestyle technique for open water:


Line up a buoy or landmark at eye level and sight every 6-10 strokes to help avoid going off-course.

Stroke rate

It is easier to swim in open water when you swim less, go faster, and create rhythmic strokes timed with waves.

Hand entry

You will need to practice entering your hand more assertively to punch through the chop.

Here are five things to keep in mind:


Do not use your energy to fight the water, but to move your body forward.


Stand with good posture, as if you were on land, looking straight ahead.


Separate each stroke with a short glide.


While rotating your torso in the water, only rotate it up to 45% on either side. Keep your head and lower legs steady while doing so.


Keep your hand entry shoulder-width apart.

Treading water

How to Tread Water- Techniques, Benefits & Drills | AquaticgleeTreading water is a valuable skill that is especially useful for long, open-water swims. You may need to pause for several reasons, such as taking a break, calming yourself down, or sighting in especially choppy water. Treading water involves keeping your head above water while swimming in an upright position, and it is an essential skill for water safety.


Is it Possible to Swim Breaststroke in a Wetsuit? – Blueseventy usaAlthough it is one of the slowest swimming strokes, breaststroke is still a popular choice for competitive swimmers. It is also a good choice to use during a triathlon if you need to rest or recover while still moving forward. Additionally, because your head is above water while using this stroke, it is easy to stay oriented and sighting is simple.

It is easy for an experienced triathlete to become overwhelmed because there are so many swimmers near each other. You can keep moving by swimming breaststroke while you catch your breath and get your bearings.

Tips for improving your breaststroke

Do not sacrifice your stroke length for speed. You may rush your extension if you try to go too fast.

If your stroke isn’t fast enough, you can try readjusting your leg and arm timing, raising your hips, and/or stopping with your hands under your chin. Alternatively, you can try not pulling your knees up as high when you kick.

When swimming in a wetsuit, it is important to focus on your arm and shoulder movements. You should not bring your knees up during the kick, and you should keep your hips high in the water.

Make sure you focus on taking deep, smooth breaths and timing them with the movement of your arms. Inhale during the in-sweeps and exhale as your hands extend forward.

You should always finish your workout by practising the full stroke, rather than just individual stroke components, to ensure that your muscles remember what they have learned.


Free photo: swimming, competition, swimmer, backstroke, pool, lane, race | Hippopx

Different events have different rules about backstroke, so it’s a good idea to check with the race host before the event. For example, USA Triathlon events usually allow backstroke, while Great Britain Triathlon events usually don’t allow it.

There are a few things to keep in mind if you do decide to use backstroke. When swimming in a pool, you can use patterns on the ceiling or other markers to help you stay in a straight line. This is more challenging to do in open water, and you might end up running into another swimmer. Also, in a triathlon swim, rolling onto your back is usually a sign that you’re struggling or in danger. We suggest only using backstroke when you need a break.


Free photo: swimming, competition, swimmer, backstroke, pool, lane, race | Hippopx

While the butterfly stroke may be a popular choice for swimming in a pool, it is not a stroke that most people would choose for swimming in a triathlon. This is because it requires a lot of energy and intensity to do it well. In a triathlon, endurance is very important, so we recommend choosing a different stroke.

Improving your swimming techniques

Take your time

You can improve your swimming skills and confidence by focusing on the present and not worrying about future events.

Proper body position

The best way to decrease drag while swimming is to improve your body alignment. This will also lead to a more effective swimming stroke, resulting in more power, endurance, and speed. To improve your body alignment, you should make your body as long as possible and float parallel to the ground. You should also keep your gaze downward with a long, relaxed neck.

Hand entry and timing

If you want to catch a lot of water and minimize shoulder strain, you need to make sure your hand enters the water properly. Your hand should move in a line from your side to the water, in line with your shoulder. It is important to make sure your hand entry is not too wide or too narrow and to extend your arm fully when entering the water.

It is important to have good timing when you are swimming if you want to reduce drag. You should focus on your rhythm when you are swimming. Having good timing will help you to have a better balance, and you will use less energy. This will help you to swim faster.

The catch

A crucial element of freestyle swimming is your hand catch. When you enter the water, your fingers should be outstretched and pointing forward. Then, when you initiate your pull, you should hinge at the elbow, not the wrist. This will increase the surface area available to ‘catch’ the water and pull it behind you.


While racing, you will need to take more breaths per stroke than you would during a training session. Breathing properly is essential to improving your swimming technique and form. Incorrect breathing not only makes your body tire more quickly but also creates resistance, slowing you down. Your swimming breath technique will depend on a few factors, including which stroke you are swimming in and whether you are in a sprint or long-distance race. For example, strokes like butterfly and breaststroke require a breath between each stroke, while with freestyle, you can breathe every few strokes. While racing, you will need to take more breaths per stroke than you would during a training session.

Stroke count

I focus on my stroke count when I swim to help me improve. I want to be able to swim at the same pace using fewer strokes. I practice swimming faster and farther with each stroke until I find the pace and distance that works best for me.

Keep your head low

To ensure you’re breathing correctly while swimming, resist the urge to lift your head and instead turn your chin to the side. This is where the body roll comes in handy. Focus on turning your chin toward your shoulder, looking directly to the side or very slightly behind you. Make sure this is the only change you make within your stroke.


Although it may seem daunting, swimming with a smile on your face can actually help you relax and focus on what you want to improve. A smile on your face always improves your face value.

Break it down!

Your fitness goals should be segmented into milestones with specific distances in mind. Work on mapping out your route to these milestones, starting with getting comfortable in the water and progressing to floating and moving forward. Make each subsequent milestone easier to reach by refining your technique.

Fingers first

To swim with the most power, aim to enter the water with your hands slightly wide from your centre. Keep your arms in line with your shoulders and hips, and let your fingers enter the water first. This will help you get a better grip on the water and pull you through more powerfully. When you’re just starting out, it’s okay to keep your fingers closed together, but eventually, you should try to keep a small space between each finger.

Get high

I always focus on getting somebody’s bad, back, and legs as high above the water as possible. I want them to lengthen their spine and legs (not necessarily their arms) as much as possible. They will most likely be looking towards the bottom of the pool, but hopefully, their whole body is rising in the water.

Focus on your kick

The following text is about the importance of saving energy while swimming by kicking your legs from the hip and keeping your kicks smooth and relaxed.

Keep your arms moving

The goal is to make large circles with your arms. While you can make the movement more complex, as long as your arms don’t stop moving and you reach them back past your thighs, you’ll be able to get your arms out of the water and place them in front of you. For now, don’t worry too much about what your hands are doing.

Rock your hips

To move your arms more smoothly, rock your hips with every stroke as if you were ice skating or kayaking. This body roll will also help you reach further, give you more power, and make it easier for you to breathe, turn your head, and find air.

Fight your instincts

While it may go against your natural instincts, swimming can actually be helpful in a survival situation. Overriding the urge to swim as hard and fast as possible and instead focusing on more efficient movements will help you conserve energy and increase your chances of making it to safety.

Be productive

If you don’t like spending a lot of time in the water, you may be worried that you won’t be able to get the most out of your swimming workouts. However, you don’t need to spend hours in the water to get a good workout. Just 20-30 minutes of water time each session can be plenty if you can make yourself comfortable and be productive with your time.

Don’t focus on distance

When you’re just starting to swim, don’t worry about how far you’re going. It’s more important to focus on the quality of your swimming and how you feel in the water. You should aim to do a little more each time you swim, but some days you might not feel as good as others. Remember that your progress won’t always be linear.

Keep your sessions regular

It is best to swim frequently each week for the most improvement. Swimming less than once a week means you will have to start from scratch each time, which isn’t ideal. The more often you are in the water, the easier it will be to maintain your improvements and remember how you felt during each session.

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