Fall and Winter Swimming for Triathletes Part 3

In Part 1 and Part 2 of cool weather swimming for triathletes, the many benefits to keeping in the water this fall and winter are noted. There is one more I think worthy of mentioning. Learning backstroke.


Here is why:

  1. Backstroke is a natural recovery stroke for freestyle, unwind those shoulders and arms in the reverse direction. It is perfect to use in an active rest interval, or in a designated set of its own after challenging freestyle work.
  2. Backstroke can make your freestyle better! Common in both strokes are finding a long, stable posture that allows just the correct amount of rotation around the long axis of the body and using core control to manage rotation and maintain alignment. I also find the activation of the lower core in backstroke a really nice wake up for those muscles that can be neglected in freestyle.
  3. You may need it in a race one day. It’s a great stroke to keep moving yet allow you to take a breather, or fix goggles or other adjustments. Long distance swimmers may feed while on their back, or for rests from freestyle.
  4. It allows you to add variety to your swimming in a purposeful way. Once the season starts again and swim time increases, sub those frustrating and pointless kickboard sets with backstroke. You will be a much better freestyler for it!

Check out the 200m Womens Backstroke final from Rio!

Coach Dinah