Ask Coach Sara: Getting Comfortable In The Water

Your Twitter questions about swimming as a triathlete, answered by coach Sara McLarty.

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Your Twitter questions about swimming as a triathlete, answered by coach Sara McLarty.

Q: I’ve never been a swimmer and I’m a beginner triathlete. How can I get more comfortable in the water? –@aeverton

A: Swim often, swim lots, swim everywhere. The best way to be more comfortable in the water is by getting into the water! Find other people and training groups to swim with, get in the pool four to five times each week, and do as much open-water training as possible. Most importantly, start to call yourself a swimmer. Sometimes it’s as simple as changing how you view yourself from “beginner triathlete uncomfortable in the water” to “second-year racer strengthening my swim.”

RELATED: Fear Not The Swim

Q: What [are] your thoughts on kick sets? More emphasis with fins or without? –@CoastalTri

A: Learning how to kick correctly and efficiently is a common struggle among triathletes. Kick sets with and without fins are a great way to master the kick and have it become a strength rather than a frustration. Use full-length, soft rubber fins to get the correct flexibility and movement. Focus on small, yet quick up-and-down motions originating at your hips. Build strength with fins and improve tempo without.

RELATED: Why It’s Important To Conquer The Swim Kick

Q: How can I improve my technique without paying for private lessons? –@RealBobbySeale

A: Everyone in the swim business will hate me for sharing this little secret: With hard work and determination, it IS possible to become a better swimmer without purchasing any lessons, books, DVDs or gadgets! But it’s not easy. You have to commit to analyzing yourself often and honestly. Observe what commonalities are present in great swimmers and lacking in weaker swimmers, and apply those to your own technique.

More “Ask Coach Sara.”

Pro triathlete and swim coach Sara McLarty has 25-plus years of experience and knowledge about swimming mechanics, efficiency and technique.

Got a swimming question? Coach Sara wants to help. Just tweet your queries to @SaraLMcLarty.

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