Have you ever seen yourself run? I have. Pre-video, I had this feeling of the wind blowing through my hair, Chariots of Fire music in the background, slow motion, perfect form..... like that Baywatch dream I keep having. Post-video: Chariots of fire just turned to oompa-loompa and wind blown hair to some funky head twitch and my arms....do I really look like Jack Sparrow?
Have you ever seen yourself swim? Probably not, even though this seems to be the kryptonite discipline for most triathletes many have no idea if they're a Baywatch'er or Jack Sparrow. Why is it so important? More so than running or biking, its hard to know what's really happening under the water during the swim, especially in open water. You're forced to rely more on feel than any of the other disciplines. You need to know how "right" feels to really improve. Seeing how you feel is the best way to make changes.
Insert underwater video analysis.
Recently, I did a few of these and was reminded of their value. You need to see if what your doing, or the feel of what you're doing is helping or hurting. Here's a few still shots of the sessions with a little bit of commentary and feedback you'd receive from a video analysis.
One of the most common problems from photo number one, coming across the center line, which hurts your ability to set up the catch and pull.
Another common challenge for swimmers seen in picture number 3 and 5 above, elbow is lower than the wrist, wrist lower than the hand. Creates a "stop" sign and kills forward momentum.
Notice in the above photo, the hand entry is near perfect. No splash, no change in momentum. In the video, it almost looks like she accelerates with each entry.
The catch. You can see the bubbles and the direction of the hand, pressing water down and diagonally instead of towards the back wall.
Once again, this is a great tool to help you understand what is happening above and below the water. You can get more information about how to get an analysis here.
Scott Flynn, owner, coach and triathlete of 10+ years with Threshold Multisport Coaching, holds a MS in Exercise Science and multiple nationally recognized fitness certifications (CES, CSCS). For more about Threshold coaching packages click here.