I'm one of those that always swim in the race faster than i ever swim in training..the effect of the wetsuit......my love of open water and the drafting and adrenaline all make me swim faster........usually i don't train much but this year i'm hoping to swim train so that I am hopefully fresher for the bike
WW I would concur on 'thrashing'. That doesn't sound positive for anyone. And 69 is not shabby at all off that amount of swim training. Which would suggest natural ability/technique. I swim two - three times per week to shave a couple of minutes off that on the day
TEP that sounds like a nice balance each week. I don't use the toys personally but pull-buoy for your long swim would be fine. Try and do the faster intervals without.
I do one coached swim session with my Tri club a week. Never know what the session is in advance. Could be technique, drills, paddles, buoy, kick work, sprints, or all of the above. I always come away with at least one technical pointer. I then swim a few days later on my own for 60-70mins, thinking about 2-3 technical aspects and trying to swim better. From my limited experience, to swim faster you need to swim better. If you just build your engine, you`re more likely to just move more water around you.
EP I'm waaay slower than you 14 mins for 400 meters. As for technique I'm such a newbie I just have to concentrate on just rotating to breathe rather than craining my neck up in the air. Apparently I'm quite lucky that I'm fairly straight in the water so I also just concentrate and staying relaxed and long in the water, still got the windmill arms but I've been told not to worry about those and I do think they are improving just with the swimming, not done speicific drills for them yet.
All boils down to swim a bit bike a bit and run a bit I guess.
TEP improving that pull is where the speed increase will come from (along with good rotation and body position). Try and focus on pulling strong from the reach out front right through to your hips whilst keeping your elbow high. Catch-up and one-arm drills may help you focus on it.
The Fink book has some good descriptions of the swim phases from memory.
good swim articles can be found at
Visit the official Triathlete's World page
Follow Triathlete's World on Twitter
Other Natmag-Rodale Sites
About Triathlete's World