Swim faster without spending more time in the water
Discover the 4 most common swim killers and how to fix them so that you can shave minutes off your swim time.
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BRAD BROWN: Welcome onto yet another edition of The Kona Edge, I’m Brad Brown and we head to Sydney, Australia to catch up with Lilian Molesworth to chat a little bit of swimming. Lilian, welcome back onto the podcast, thanks for joining us.
LILIAN MOLESWORTH: Thank you.
BRAD BROWN: Lilian, let’s talk some swimming, from a time perspective in a triathlon it’s the shortest of the three disciplines, do you spend much time in the pool or do you find it comes pretty naturally to you?
LILIAN MOLESWORTH: Not naturally at all, I’m struggling. At the moment because that’s where I’m losing the most, is the swimming. So I’ve been really focusing on my swimming and lots of swimming training at the moment.
BRAD BROWN: As far as your swim training goes, what sort of stuff are you doing, what are you really working on right now to get better in the water?
BRAD BROWN: Do you find it frustrating, I know a lot of people do, that if they don’t get big gains, particularly in the water, they just really get demoralized, does that fire you up that you know the gains are coming, you just need to keep on working at it, or does it frustrate you?
LILIAN MOLESWORTH: It frustrates me, but I know I have to keep doing it. I can see the results, but the results are tiny but it adds up each time, a little bit, little bit.
BRAD BROWN: From a technique perspective, have you done much work with a coach and video analysis what sort of stuff have you done?
BRAD BROWN: Again, it boils down to that consistency.
LILIAN MOLESWORTH: Yes.
BRAD BROWN: Unfortunately! If only there was an easy way. What’s your favourite workout in the water, what do you love doing?
LILIAN MOLESWORTH: There is none! Just getting out of the water maybe!
BRAD BROWN: I love that, I absolutely love that! As far as open water compared to swimming in the pool, what do you prefer? Do you do much open water swimming or is most of your stuff done in the pool?
LILIAN MOLESWORTH: Most of it in the pool because where I live it’s so easy, I just go across the road, the pool is just there and it’s convenient.
BRAD BROWN: Doing most of your work in the pool, do you find you struggle when you hit the open water?
LILIAN MOLESWORTH: Not really, I think because I’ve already done so many races, I don’t struggle. Even my positioning, I know I’m going to come out of the water, maybe somewhere in the middle, I’m still going to go to the front, try and get as much drag as possible.
BRAD BROWN: Lilian, let’s talk about your bike now and you’ve said your swim is the weakest of the three disciplines. When you head out and you realise you’re as far behind as you are on the age groupers you’re chasing, do you find you have to hold yourself back on the bike, even though you want to go as hard as you can to catch them or what’s your strategy when you get on the bike?
LILIAN MOLESWORTH: I go straight away flat out, as hard as I can to catch them. I know I’ve done the training, I know I’m not going to blow up, so I’m just going straight away as hard as I can.
BRAD BROWN: I love that because that takes a bit of confidence. You say you’re not going to blow up, you’ve obviously blown up in races where you’ve learnt those lessons and you’ve done the work, as you say, to get to the point now where you’re confident enough that you know you can hit this thing as hard as you can, and you’re going to be fine.
LILIAN MOLESWORTH: Yeah, because one year I was focusing on distance and I was doing five times each week, five weeks, I did 220km bike ride and I knew I’ve got the K’s in the legs, I’ve got that strength in my legs to go like that.
BRAD BROWN: As far as your training goes, do you do most of it on, you mentioned the wind trainer, on the indoor or do you head out on the road quite a bit?
LILIAN MOLESWORTH: No, 98% always on the trainer.
BRAD BROWN: That’s fascinating and workout-wise, what do you love doing on the bike, on that trainer?
LILIAN MOLESWORTH: The harder set, it goes quickly, but it’s very hard. It’s three minutes on flat out and then one minute recovery, 10 minutes warm-up, obviously, then three minutes on, one minute off, for three hours.
BRAD BROWN: Holy cow!
LILIAN MOLESWORTH: It’s hard, and you have to be focused, it hurts, when I’m finished, I could not run, I could not go and run, I just need to lie down in the lounge.
BRAD BROWN: But you love those workouts, you realise that if you suffer like that in training, that’s what going to make you have good races.
LILIAN MOLESWORTH: I know it’s pace off I’ve seen the results and that’s why I’m doing it. I know it’s hard to do it very often, like I’m doing it by myself and I know I’m going to get the results and that’s what motivates me. I know at the end I will see the results. I know on the race day I will see results and that’s why I just keep doing it.
BRAD BROWN: From a gadget perspective, do you train by heart rate, do you train to Power?
LILIAN MOLESWORTH: No, only heart rate monitor, that’s all.
BRAD BROWN: Is there a reason for that, have you consciously decided you don’t want to use Power and that’s just the way it is?
LILIAN MOLESWORTH: Because I know if the legs are gone, there won’t be much Power anymore. If I do three minutes on, one minute off, I know the last half an hour, the legs are completely gone, what’s the point of looking what’s the Power, the legs are gone!
BRAD BROWN: I absolutely love that. As far as the gains you’ve made on the bike, you mentioned the switch up, that you switched from mostly doing distance to time and bringing it down slightly, do you feel that’s what’s given you the biggest benefit on the bike?
LILIAN MOLESWORTH: Probably yes.
BRAD BROWN: Well Lilian thank you very much for your time once again here on The Kona Edge, much appreciated.
We look forward to catching up again next time when we’ll chat about your run and nutrition strategy but we’ll save that for when we do touch base again.
Thank you so much joining us on this edition of The Kona Edge. Look forward to catching up again soon.
Brad Brown is a 40 something age grouper that dreams of one day qualifying for and racing on the big island (He may have to outlive everyone in his age group though).
Morbidly obese in 2009, Brad clocked in at 165kgs (363lbs) at his heaviest.
He's subsequently lost a third of his body weight on the way to a half Ironman pb of 5:06 and a full Ironman pb of 12:21.
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