How To Get The Most Out Of Your Training

Tips for Improving Your Swim

Any triathlon coach in Virginia will tell you that swimming is a big part of a triathlon. Swimming in a triathlon isn’t the same as swimming competitively. While you want to complete the distance as quickly as possible in both, triathlon swimming requires you to be more efficient. This is so you can have more energy for the running and biking portions of the race. With that being said, here are some suggestions from a Virginia triathlon coach with Team Z to improve your swim:

How To Get The Most Out Of Your Training

Practice Regularly

Many triathletes focus their training on running and biking and don’t dedicate enough time to swimming. In order to get better, it’s important to swim at least three or four days a week. If the weather is poor and you can’t practice in open water, at least try to practice in an indoor swimming pool.

Swim in Open Water

When it’s nice outside, be sure to practice your swim in open water.  Although swimming in a pool can help you improve your stroke, it’s not the same as swimming in open water. If you practice swimming in a lake, you will learn how to sight and navigate currents better. If you want to wear a wetsuit during the triathlon, practice with it in the lake first. If the wetsuit feels uncomfortable in any way, you will have time to exchange it for a different one.  Working with a triathlon coach for Virginia can help you to be more confident in open water.

Avoid Kicking Too Deep

The way you kick your legs can make a real difference in how fast you swim. If you kick too deep under the water and too aggressively, it can actually slow you down. That’s why you should try to kick at the surface of the water.

Increase Strength in Your Shoulders

You use your shoulders a lot when you swim, so they must be strong. The stronger your shoulders are, the faster you can swim without getting fatigued. A Virginia triathlon coach would say you should incorporate strength training into your training regimen. Exercises like shoulder presses, lateral raises and plate raises can help you develop stronger shoulders for your swim. If you’re new to weight training, consider working with a personal trainer. He or she can show you how to do the exercises correctly and reduce your risk of injury.

Work With a Coach

If you are struggling to improve your swim, you may want to work with a triathlon coach in Virginia. A skilled coach can detect the mistakes you may be making and suggest ways to improve. By working with a coach, you can improve your technique and feel more confident about your swim during race day. A coach will also keep you accountable. You will be less likely to skip swim practices if you know your coach is waiting for you.

If you follow these tips, you can become a better swimmer and be ready for the triathlon. Remember to give it your all during each practice and take rest days when needed. If you need assistance training for the race, contact a professional triathlon coach Virginia from Team Z today!

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Growing up, I was never even remotely athletic, a distinct liability in a sports-mad country. Moreover, I grew to associate the idea of people being “sporty” with people who were generally obnoxious, who loved to lord their athletic prowess over others.

Triathlon, therefore, was a revelation for me: very ordinary people who were able to achieve extraordinary things. Team Z is the essence of triathlon in that regard, an amazing mix of experienced athletes (who turned out to be quite nice people) and absolute beginners, all sharing their different journeys. The team is full of people who push me when I need to be pushed and who push me when I don’t think I want to be pushed. Because the team pushes me, I’ve become something I never would have believed I could become: an athlete.

Mark Mullen


Never say never on Team Z! I never thought I would do a triathlon let alone a half Ironman. I told anyone who would listen that the only way I would ever run another marathon was if it was in an Ironman and since I was never going to do an Ironman I had nothing to worry about. Well, so much for my “never” list. With the support of Team Z, I have raced numerous short distance triathlons, several half Ironmans, raced my best injury free marathon (I beat Oprah’s time), and signed up for an Ironman.
Regardless of your experience, speed, motivation, and goals there is a place for you on Team Z. When I joined the Team in December 2011, I did not know what to expect. My old game plan was to go as fast and as hard as possible regardless of the consequences. I do not recommend this strategy. I somehow always fell to side with an injury and burned out long before I reached the start line. This all changed when I joined Team Z. With the help of the coaches and my teammates, I am learning everyday how to find balance physically, set reachable goals, listen to my body, and enjoy the experience. I have a good friend on the Team that says that all the training and hard work is the journey. Race day is the victory lap. Gotta Love Team Z!

Kathy Hsu


In 2009 I ran the Disney Marathon with my mom, accompanying her on her first 26.2 mile adventure. I remember standing at the start next to her and saying, “just think, those Ironman people have to do this after swimming 2.4 miles and biking 112”¦..freaking lunatics!.” Two years later with a couple of sprint and Olympic triathlons under my belt, and after a couple of glasses of wine, I started to wonder, “Maybe I can do an Ironman too?” So I pulled the trigger, dropped the cash, and signed up for Ironman Cozumel. This followed by immediate panic. “Oh dear God, what have I done? I haven’t the slightest clue how to train for an Ironman.” A couple months later, by chance, I ran into a Z’er outside of my work and as we started talking Triathlon, she told me about Team Z. “Why not? It can’t hurt” I thought to myself. So I joined. It didn’t take me long to realize that this team had everything I wanted: knowledgeable and supportive coaches, structured training plans for all levels and abilities, fantastic teammates, and most importantly cold beers ready for you after every race!

Scott Leary