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become a better swimmer and improve your speed

become a better swimmer and improve your speed

Swimming advice from Pro Triathlete Marlene de Boer

The hard truth of swimming

  • Swimming - the most technical and perhaps feared part of the sport of triathlon. You can't win a match with it, but you can lose a lot of time with it. Swimming is difficult to learn and takes years to perfect. This blog is not about mastering swimming technique, but I provide tips that have helped me become a better swimmer. Will you read with me?

Tip 1: Measuring is knowing, right?

Measuring is knowing remains a valuable principle in the sports world. Triathlon is no exception. While data can be an invaluable source of insight, it should not be the primary focus for triathletes. Especially not while swimming. Because swimming is a technical and difficult sport, it can take a long time before you see any progress.

Instead of obsessively paying attention to every second and meter, it is wise to pay more attention to your feelings while swimming. By leaving your watch at home and focusing on your own body feedback, you can protect yourself from negative mental spirals. Swimming by feel, in categories such as 'easy', 'steady', and 'hard', can be a more satisfying and effective approach. This will especially help you to last longer, so that you become better and faster in the long term.

  • Pro Tip: During my interval training I want to have insight into my training data, so I use the Form Smart Swimming Goggles 2!

"Swimming slowly is often the fastest way in the long run."

Marlene de Boer - Pro Triathlete

Tip 2: Quality over quantity

Of course, it is important to also practice longer distances in preparation for a race. However, I believe that it is better to swim shorter distances with 5-15 seconds of rest each time. Try to focus on your technique with each push-off and when resuming swimming. When swimming longer distances you can become tired, which is often at the expense of your technique. By taking a short rest in between, you can set your intentions anew every time.

When you just start swimming, there is less point in swimming very long distances. It is better to swim more often and keep your distances limited in the beginning. Quality over quantity.

Tip 3: Training with focus

Hydration is just as important as nutrition, if not more so, during a triathlon. Failure to hydrate adequately can lead to dehydration, reduced performance and even health problems.

Solution: Drink regularly and consistently

Drink small sips of water regularly during your training and competitions to stay hydrated. Learn to listen to your body and drink before you feel thirsty. Also experiment with sports drinks that contain electrolytes to help maintain your fluid and electrolyte balance during long races.

  • Did you know? An endurance athlete can lose up to 2 liters of sweat per hour!

Tip 4: make use of tools

Although energy gels and sports drinks can be useful during a triathlon to quickly replenish energy, first-time riders sometimes make the mistake of relying too much on these products and ignoring other nutritional sources.

Solution: Vary your diet

Provide a varied diet consisting of whole foods, including carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals. Use energy gels and sports drinks to supplement as needed, but don't forget to also rely on nutritious foods like bananas, oatmeal, nuts and whole wheat bread.

''In the world of sports nutrition there is no good or wrong. Learn and try what works for you and stick with it!”


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Improve your technique and swim faster!