Do’s and Don’ts of swimming pool training for triathletes

Want to get more out of your swimming training? If you are getting up early to head to the pool day after day you want to know the time you are putting in is going to benefit your triathlon swimming. Here’s some simple do’s and don’ts to make sure every session counts. 

Do prep the night before! 

Time is precious in the morning and so is sleep! If you want to maximise your rest and still get to the pool on time you need to do your prep the night before. Pack your kitbag with everything you need for your planned ( yes planned) pool session; not just the obvious swim kit and pull buoy but recovery fuel or after the session and whatever you need for the rest of the day. Especially if your morning goes straight from pool to office. 

To minimise thinking in the morning even further lay out exactly what you are going to wear to get to the pool and even put a drink ready in the fridge. Think of this as your first transition - from asleep to athlete! 


Do warm-up (even before entering the water)  

Warming-up is important in every sport; it reduces your chance of injury and prepares your body for the intensity of training to come. Whilst your training plans no doubt includes a few warm-up lengths you can start preparing your body even before you hit the water. Cycling, walking or a light jog to the pool gently raises your heart rate and breathing rate far better than sitting in a car and it will get you in the right physical and mental state to train.  

Don't worry about what other people are doing 
It's very tempting to watch other people's work outs, if someone looks faster and slicker than you then it’s natural to want a bit of what they are having! But, effective training is unique and tailored to the individual, you don't know where they are in their own training cycle or what they are working on it that moment. Trust in the process and follow your own plan. 


Do evaluate your swim technique 
Swimming is a uniquely different technical skill that can’t be replicated in any other dry-land sport or activity. Water is 800 times denser than air and how you move through the water determines your success as an athlete. Even the smallest flaw in your technique can have a significant impact on your overall performance. 

Using NOVA| INCUS during your swims means every aspect of your technique is being monitored. Upload your data to INCUS|CLOUD after your swim session to receive easy to understand, actionable feedback you can apply in your next swim session. 

Don't worry if you there isn't a swim coach at every session 
In an ideal world we would have a coach with us every time we trained to monitor our technique, offer advice and boost motivation, but even for pro athletes that is not realistic. Using INCUS is even better than having your head coach at every training session, as the data is accurate and not subjective.
 

Plus, you can use INCUS to track your progress and share the data with your coach after the session. And remember, today's data is tomorrow's improvement, by monitoring your technique every swim you have the power to develop your technique every time you get in the water.


Do plan your swim workouts 
There is very little point in dragging yourself out of bed before dawn if you haven't got a plan to make the session count. Every session should have a clear purpose and goal as part of the bigger picture of your overall training plan. 

Having a session plan and a goal can help you measure your progress and ensure that the time you spend in the pool in contributing to your overall goal - whether that is the World Championships or your first sprint triathlon. Feedback from INCUS | CLOUD can help you with planning your session, particularly honing technique, and the data generated over time will help you to monitor your progress and predict future training and performance. You can read more about how INCUS|CLOUD works here 

Don't get stale by always following the same session 
Endurance athletes can easily slip into a rigid and repetitive way of training. If you are training for long course or Ironman distance events getting time in the water and completing endurance sessions is important, but mixing up your sessions will ensure that your focus stays fresh and you are stretching your body in new ways. 

Technique is something that can be incorporated into every session and with the data from your NOVA and actionable feedback from INCUS|CLOUD you have the power to improve every day. With limited time to train every session has to count. 

Do hydrate and fuel 

Early starts and swim sessions don't favour a heavy breakfast but good nutrition for swimming means having some carbohydrate before you train to fuel your session. One of the easiest ways is with a breakfast smoothie, or even just a banana with glass of milk or juice. Try to allow some time for digestion before you reach the pool. 

Hydration is easy to overlook so keep a bottle on poolside, for shorter sessions plan water is enough but longer sessions may need electrolyte or electrolyte and carbohydrate. After your session your focus may rapidly switch to getting to work on time, but to get through the day without zoning out at your desk and to fuel for sessions later in the day, you need to make sure you get a recovery meal in the first 60 minutes after finishing your session. 

A recovery drink in the first 30-minutes will replenish glycogen stores, help re-hydrate and speed up recovery. A pre-made fruit and milk or milk substitute smoothie is a natural way of getting in the proteins, carbs and fats you need as well as fibre and vitamins. Which brings us back to point one - prep the night before! make sure your nutrition is on point by blending your breakfast and recovery smoothies the night before and popping them in the fridge. 

Ready to make every session count with INCUS? Head to our store HERE and discover how you can have the power to improve every day.