I’m not saying that if you are a fast swimmer, you will suck as a triathlete. I’m saying that if you train for speed in the pool, your overall triathlon times will likely decrease. You simply won’t have the energy required coming out of the water to succeed on the bike and run.
Occasional speed work, which does consist of hard swimming, is necessary and beneficial to overall improvement. But, the majority of the swim workouts for a triathlete should be long, comfortable, and relatively easy, in your aerobic training zone (just like the bike and run). Therein lies the difference between the swimmer and the triathlete training for the swim.
If you exit the water and your heart rate is high, you will most likely perform the cycling leg with a heart rate considerably higher than the rate at which you typically train on the bike. A physiological factor that can negatively affect the upcoming run and overall racing performance.
I say all of this to help explain my swim workout today…see below:
Runcolor> – 1/2 mile repeats with 1 min. rest in between
10 minute warm-up followed by 5 minutes of drills, then 9 repeats
10 minute cool-down
Overall run workout was 6.0 miles in 1:05:12
Swimcolor> – 50 minutes of swimming at an easy pace. This is the longest swim that I’ve done in a pool. It did get a little boring, but it gave me some time to think about what I wanted to buy my little one for Christmas. After showering I immediately went to Toys ‘R’ Us and made my purchases!
Total swim = 2400 yards (1.36 miles) in 50:03 (36:41 min/mile pace)