Open water swimming for triathlonOpen water swimming can be a barrier for triathletes. In particular open water confidence may be lacking.

But today I’m going to talk triathlon swim technique, which for many triathletes can be extremely frustrating. But why?

Often triathlon is a sport that people have adopted as an adult after being proficient at other sport.

As such open water swimming may be well outside the comfort zone.

Examples of triathletes who my have started late in triathlon include single sport athletes for example cyclists and runners, and sedentary adults who just decided to take up exercise and challenge themselves at a milestone birthday or event.

The Problem With Triathlon Open Water Swimming

The problem now is that swimming requires us to efficiently navigate through water, which is 1000 times more dense than air.

I say we need to efficiently navigate through the water, but what I often see is that people who are extremely fit in other disciplines assume that working hard against the water will result in a faster swim.

When they get their breath back and realise they have traveled nowhere, and resort to the ‘safety breaststroke’ the frustration kicks in. When you consider yourself to be fit, it certainly is frustrating being overtaken by someone who you know is less fit than you.

Open Water Triathlon Swim Technique

Take a look at Trudi in the video below, and see how after just a few pointers her open water swimming stroke became so much more effective, efficient, and comfortable.



I know that she is frustrated at exiting the water of a triathlon near the back of the field, and that she is competent on the bike and run portion of the triathlon. By adopting three technique drills / considerations Trudi will now have a faster swim, a more enjoyable one, and more energy to perform at her best in the bike and run.

Key To Open Water Swimming

So, the key is to efficiently flow through the water, not inefficiently fight against it! You’ll get a great workout fighting the water, but if you want to train in open water for triathlon swimming you really should consieder how your technique is holding you back.

Triathlon is a multi-sport and so you do need to be able to swim, bike and run. By having an efficient and confident swim you will enjoy and perform better overall in your triathlon.

If you want a triathlon training programme or you have any questions please do contact me or leave a comment below and I’ll get right back to you.