Unusual advice from a tri coach
I was swimming my usual session in the pool this morning.
I got chatting to the person in the next lane who turned out to be a US certified child and adult triathlon coach.
She was trying to motivate me to partake in a sprint triathlon.
I said that I should be OK in the swim specially following the TI method with my 2BK that would leave me and my legs with enough to complete the rest.
She said no no no, that's wrong, the kick in the swim leg of a tri must be a steady flutter which left me a little confused.
It just left me wondering that if I was a rank swimming beginner who knew no better that I would be taking her advice as gospel!
I'm not going to hold it against her that I was lapping her easily over 100 yards. As a coach I am sure it's case of do as I say rather than do as I do!
Am I missing something here?
That was quite misinformed and very old-school advice. Particularly if--as is the case with most triathletes when racing--you might be wearing a wetsuit.
Except for those who swim with very high efficiency--elites and those pretty close to that status--kicking more will only increase turbulence/drag and energy waste. It will undermine, not improve, your swimming. You can almost never go wrong by kicking less!
The best convincer will be to try kicking as she recommended for just a lap or two in practice (25y/m) and compare how you feel doing that vs. using your natural 2BK. Then ask yourself if you'd like to attempt it for 400m in open water with no pushoffs to recover from the kicking effort--before needing to really rely on your legs from quite a bit longer on land.
If you perform this self-test in practice, please share your experience and conclusions here.
One of the main reasons I went with TI was because of the reduced emphasis on kicking. Before TI kicking would slow me down rather than contribute.
I have watched my 100yd times go down from 2.00 to 1.30 and my mile swim from 40 minutes to 27 minutes thanks to TI. There is no way I'm going back to the old way. It just really surprises me that someone as qualified as this can give such poor advice specially to someone she knows nothing about.
Keep up the great work that you do.
It makes you wonder what her qualifications are exactly, or the meaning of the word 'qualified' in this case. I doubt she has actually compared the two different ways of kicking, yet still tells people it's wrong to kick more easily.
It's very different with a TI Certified Coach. We all coach from the same proven playbook because our coaches are rigorously trained before receiving certification and their training and development never ends. And their own swimming practice deeply informs their coaching.
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