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Old 06-10-2010
romeo romeo is offline
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Location: Norwich, UK
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romeo
Default Breaststroke in triathlons?

I know that front crawl (freestyle) is the standard stroke for use in triathlons - it should be faster, and takes less out of your legs than breaststroke. But my breaststroke is hugely better than my crawl, and for an upcoming sprint triathlon I'm likely to end up doing at least some of it breaststroke. I'm wondering whether there are any useful adaptations I could make to spare my legs a little and emphasize the upper body aspect? For example, should I be looking to reduce the underwater glide a little, as that is dependent on a powerful kick? Or would that just make my overall stroke too inefficient?
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Old 06-10-2010
Janos Janos is offline
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Janos
Default romeo...whereart thou wetsuit?

Hi,

I am assuming you are doing your tri in the UK. Wetsuits are mandatory. If you can do any sort of front crawl/freestyle stroke, the extra buoyancy offered by the wetsuit, will make it easy. I struggle to breastroke in my wetsuit, I can't stay under the water long enough...the extra buoyancy sends me straight to the surface. In the time you have available before the race, do as much outdoor swimming in your suit as you can. Practice balance, keeping your head down, and then up to sight occasionally(essential),and a 2b kick driving your stroke.
Smooth and slow will serve you better than trying to race.
Also,avoid the crowded middle of the start, and stay at the edges, conserve your energy, and tear it up on the bike or run. Its a cliche...but the fastest swimmer never wins a tri....a wise one will though.

Kind Regards

Janos

Last edited by Janos : 06-10-2010 at 06:15 PM.
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Old 06-10-2010
romeo romeo is offline
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Default

A reasonable assumption there, and great advice - but it's actually a sprint triathlon, with the swim stage being 30 lengths of a 25m pool (750m).

As for my aspirations for the event...Well, it's my first and I'm just hoping to post a respectable time, not disgrace myself. I'm a decent runner, but a mediocre cyclist and swimmer (actually, not even mediocre at swimming). It'll all be decided on the cycling stage, I'm sure, 25km, which the winners will do in 20 minutes less than me.
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Old 06-10-2010
Janos Janos is offline
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Ah, sorry Romeo. How long do you have left to train for this event?
If it is very soon, you may be best just doing the event for the experience, with no great aspirations, but using it as a springboard for another tri later in the season.
Are they not having a supersprint category, with the shorter swim etc?

Janos
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Old 06-11-2010
romeo romeo is offline
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It's on the 20th, in fact, so very little time to learn much. I was just looking for ideas to redistribute the load while swimming breaststroke, if at all possible, so it takes less out of my legs (which I want fresh for the next stages).
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Old 06-22-2010
CoachBobM CoachBobM is offline
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I'm getting in late on this topic, but maybe this will help for the future.

If you look at the breaststroke drill sequence in Extraordinary Swimming for Every Body, you'll see that the breaststroke kick is the last thing that gets added to the mix. So I'd suggest that you concentrate on the early drills, and see how quickly and efficiently you can move without using a breaststroke kick. Then, when you add your kick, you won't be relying on it quite as much.

Keep in mind that minimizing drag is of special importance in breaststroke because there is so much you do the wrong way underwater. Your arm recovery and your kick recovery can sap much of the momentum you create during your stroke and kick. And every time your head comes up to breathe, your body is in an unstreamlined position that can also sap much of your momentum if you remain there very long.


Bob
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