Newbie swimmer issue-how to save swimming technique trainings

I am a rookie in triathlon sport. I used to be a good runner and I was good at riding my bike too but swimming is something I have to start now from scratch. I considered myself to be able to handle more in these two events (running+bike) so I chose mid volume triathlon plan. I can manage the running and bike workload very well but I can go to swim only once or max twice a week. The swimming trainings are mainly about correcting my bad/missing swimming technique. So right now I am not able to complete Athletica workout plans as I am not a “real” swimmer yet but I want athletica to save my swimming as it is. How can I save these 1 hour swimming technique sessions into my training plan? When I tried to start Athletica planned swimming sessions on my Garmin watch it will measure incorrect data (the turns, the stops etc). I tried to save my swimming sessions as a “not planned activity” but the measurment was much more incorrect then the pervious method. Not to mention the error the little pool (20m) we have here in my small town creates…(Athletica swimming pool lenght setting allows only 25 and 50 m pools). Sorry for my pity party post but if there is something you suggest please share it with me. :slight_smile:


Hey @Creative32
Swimming is the most difficult one in triathlon and many, many people struggle with this. I didn’t grow up as a swimmer, as I lived way up in Northern Finland with closest pool 50K away. So my swimming was limited to those super short 2 months of summer. I was fortunate to have an amazing swim teacher during my BCs in sports sciences and I learned basic strokes then. When I started training for Ironman, I went all-in.
This is not an answer you like to hear, but because swimming is so technical, and requires you to really get in tune of your body and water, you need to jump in the pool as often as possible. There’s really no way around it.
I’m sure you’ve heard us crazy swimmers talk about “feel of water”… you’ll learn it when you repeat those drills, get feedback, try again and be patience with yourself.
I use to swim a lot. 4 times a week. Easy, hard, technical, speed. Thought the goggle marks would be permanent I put so many hours in the pool.
It paid off. Now I can confidently take swim training with at times cocky attitude: I’ve got this. I’ve developed the feel for water and can cruise on that a little.

So if you can dedicate every other day in the pool for few months, I think you’ll see a big change. Do you have someone to give you technique advice and drills ? I would pay for someone to help you in the beginning, so you are actually working on what will make your technique better, and the drills will change as you progress and correct your technique.

I would not worry too much about how Athletica saves your swims at the moment. Just save them as swims. Forget about the pace. Just swim. Enjoy and find yourself in the water :smiley: it’s not everyday you can learn something new.

With that in mind - remember to reward yourself everytime you feel like you’ve done something well! You’ve got this!


I had Gordo Byrn on the Training Science Podcast and he’s a wealth of knowledge in all things endurance. Here is his latest on the topic of getting started with swimming. (cc @Andrea).


Warning, this will be a shameless plug for my coach and our team:
I am coached by Robbie Bruce, who is the co-creator of C26, Crushing Iron. They have a Podcast and there are about 8-9 episodes sprinkled around the 750+ that they have done, called “how to not suck at swimming”. The reason I recommend them is because their entire philosophy is NOT to spend endless hours on drills and correcting an angle of some joint. But rather, how to get in the water, and make efficient use of your time to actually just SWIM and get better.
I would humbly suggest that you take the time goal that Athletica prescribes for you, and NOT yet worry about the specific workout. Rather, do what YOU need, which is to possibly grab a buoy and do piles and piles of 25s and 50s. But listen to those episodes first, because I’m NOT a coach.
Note that our team has been switching over to Athletica and I’ve been on the platform for a while now, and I see excellent integration with the philosophy our our coaches and this technology. I just doubt that the workouts the AI will be giving you are the best specific sets for you at this point.
(If my advice is incorrect, or ill advised, PLEASE step in. I never want to steer someone in the wrong direction).


Great advice ! Just get in the water :smiley:

1 Like

You guys all are awesome people, thank you very much. This is what I needed to hear! I am a bit strict to myself, when I learn something new I always want to do it perfectly. Perfectionism is sometimes a drawback I knew it from experience. When I concentrate on my joint angle in the pool the breathing becomes messed up when I focus on the legwork I am grasping for air (forgot breathing ;-)) Yes going with the flow is the answer, our bodies are designed to run, swim, we just have to let it do in its natural way. Thank you again. I love this Athletica community :wink:


Thank you Michael, you made my day!


100 % agree! Our little community is so amazing :heart_eyes_cat: thank you :blush: and keep being like Nemo… just keep swimming :swimming_man: