Swimming is the most technical sport in triathlon. If performed correctly, it is the easiest sport on the body as there is no impact on the joints, and can therefore practised more often. Triathlon programs for children should have swimming as the primary sport.
There are a number of swimming skills that are unique to triathlon; swimming with people, in open water, and in different conditions requires to be adaptable, vary their stroke to meet the environment demands, and be especially aware of their surroundings. Many swimmers train only in pools and follow a program similar to that of competitive swimmers. However, the demands of triathlon swimming are very unlike pool swimming, and require a different skill-set, and therefore, different training.
Below are some methods of practicing the above skills in a pool setting:
– Sighting while swimming: looking for markers to navigate in open water.
– Swimming close to, around, behind, and in front of other people who may not be swimming in a straight line.
– Swimming while wearing a wetsuit.
– Swimming continuously for long distances, with no turning and pushing off walls as one does in a pool, to simulate the experience of open-water swimming.
– Swimming in different directions to simulate navigating around buoys.
– Swimming in waves, currents, debris, and dark wafer, as well as different weather conditions.
– Starting from a beach, a pontoon, or in deep water.
– Exiting the water on a beach, shoreline with possibly rocky terrain. or in shallow water. Exiting in shallow
wafer may involve wading or by swinging the leg over the water surface each step.