Videoing yourself swimming is an excellent way to see what your stroke looks like. But, to correctly identify any weaknesses and to know how to make improvements, takes an expert eye. Tri-Trained are now offering expert analysis of your stroke by video. We will analyse your swimming technique and specify exactly which areas of your stroke would benefit from some shape changes and the specific drills to reinforce the change.
Where do I start?
The starting point is the videoing and getting the right shots to get the most from our analysis. This article has been written with this in mind and will allow you to get the best shots. If you then want to send this into Tri-trained and have one of our coaches give you expert feedback or, alternatively, to analyse the video yourself, I am sure this article will help.
The best place to get the right video shots is down at your local pool. Make sure you have permission to video before you start and then ask a friend to record around 10 seconds of your stroke from these angles.
The next two angles are not essential, but do give us a lot of extra information. Only attempt these shots if you have a waterproof camera! A GoPro or clone would be perfect
You will need…
And don’t change your swim stroke ‘just for the camera’. Swim like you do when nobody is watching.
Now you have the video what should I do?
Once you have the four videos, please check you are happy with them and that you have included, if you can, all the four angles. You now have what you need to allow a coach to perform an analysis of your stroke.
The last few weeks have been a real challenge and I know you are all keen to get back into training ASAP. The lock down is gradually relaxing and we are hoping that next month (July) we will back in the water, doing what we all love – SWIMMING !
Now is the time to check out your kit and perhaps update it ready for when we start. Here is a reminder of what to check and a list of kit you will need.
You do have a spare pair, don’t you? So you are prepared for anything? Make sure you adjust them before arriving at the pool, just in case.
If you already have fins, check that they still fit your feet. Fins should fit snugly; if you can fit multiple fingers in the space between fin and skin they are too big! If fins are loose they will cause chaffing and likely painful blisters in the long run. We recommend 1 shoe size up when selecting a fin, as your feet will swell slightly during training.
Look for any splits in the rubber, especially around the back of the fin. Replace them if you find any.
Our recommendation for a good quality, general purpose centre mounted snorkel is the Finis Swimmers Snorkel. Remember that these should be cleaned on a regular basis, which can be easily done by running the snorkel through a wash cycle on the top rack of the dishwasher (without the head bracket). When looked after properly these snorkels will last a long time.
Make sure to check the head band and the mouth piece for any damage regularly. Replace it if you find anything wrong.
It’s always a good idea to use a nose clip strap, that either attaches to the bridge of the goggles or has a longer neck strap. These are used to prevent the nose clip from being lost in use. This is especially useful in open water swimming, where it would be impossible to find the clip if it falls off. Check the strap and replace it if you find any damage. Remember to regularly clean these as they tend to get stored damp in plastic cases, which can mean they are prone to bug growth.
Which nose clip strap do Tri-Trained recommend? Why, our own brand-new Keep – it of course! It’s a very neat and secure nose clip strap at a modest price if you are looking for one.
Tri-Trained can supply you with a long-life silicone swim hat at a very reasonable price. If you like, you can have your name added.
If you want to reduce the number of pieces of kit you carry around, then consider a kickboard/pull buoy combination, these are foam boards that can be used for either role.
Also consider the combo kick board/pull buoys explained in the kick board section above.
Check for any splits and give them a good clean, if they have been sitting in your bag for a while.
With the recommendation from Swim England to arrive at the pool ‘ready to swim’ and to change on the pool deck these become almost another ‘must have’ item.
Use Catch-it during the warm up to remind you of the correct feel of the stroke. And throughout your training session, to ensure you get that hand entry right.
Think of it as your own personal coach, gently reminding you. Keep it in your swim bag and use it regularly to keep things going well
Many of the issues around drifting off line in open water swimming are caused by how you swim, what is important is that you always enter the water in line with your shoulder. As soon as you start to enter with a wide stroke or crossover the centre line of the body, you will have a tendency to drift offline. Practice and make sure your coach is helping you with the correct hand entry position.
Sighting is one of the most difficult and important things to do in open water swimming, so what are the tricks to keep on track.
A common problem in triathlons is the dizziness you feel when you exit after a long swim and are running or walking into transition. This is caused by the rush of blood away from the head, when standing after being horizontal in the swim for a long period. Sometimes called benign positional vertigo (BPV). It is short term and will go away, but it never helps you with a fast transition time.
So here are some simple steps that you can try, which may help you reduce the occurrence.
Take some time to try out the ideas above until you find the one’s that work for you.