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: You’re listening to The Kona Edge, welcome back, it’s awesome to have you join us once again. Don’t forget to leave us a rating or review on iTunes, what that does is it just helps more people get in touch with us and get to listen to the podcast, it’s a way for you to leave your appreciation. If it’s a horrible review, go leave it for someone else, we don’t want that one, we want good ones! Thanks in advance, much appreciated.
Let’s talk some swimming now and we’ve got a returning guest on the podcast today, Ryan Giuliano joins us. Ryan, welcome back, nice to touch base.
RYAN GIULIANO: Definitely, thanks for having me.
BRAD BROWN: Ryan, in our first chat you mentioned that swimming is definitely not the strongest of the three disciplines for you, but you’ve worked really hard over the years haven’t you?
Hard work will reward your struggles
RYAN GIULIANO: Yes, it’s definitely still a work in progress and I’m trying to work my way through the field in the swim, but yeah, it’s definitely been a struggle.
BRAD BROWN: You said one of the things that you grappled with over the years is the amount of time and effort you need to put in your swim in order to get the gains and the faster you go, the gains become less and less, it’s quite a difficult challenge that isn’t it?
RYAN GIULIANO: Yeah, I definitely noticed that, initially when I first started swimming I saw some pretty quick gains and I thought I was making really good progress and then all of a sudden it just halted and I had a pretty long stretch of where there was almost no improvement at all and is it even worth it the amount of work that I’m putting in here, just to see almost no gains, but I think just being patient with it over time, you’ll start to see those small gains and they turn into big ones over time, once they keep adding up.
BRAD BROWN: If you look at your triathlon career, what’s been some of the things you’ve done that’s given you the biggest gains in the water?
Consistent swim training pays off
RYAN GIULIANO: I would say the single biggest thing I’ve done is swim more, as simple as it sounds, I think when I first started in the sport I would swim quite a bit and then once I went into off season, I took a little bit of time off but over the years I’ve learnt that the best way to get better at it is the consistent training and swimming year round now has really paid off the biggest amount for me, just getting in the pool consistently and week after week, without taking any of those breaks has been the biggest part for me.
BRAD BROWN: And it’s probably easier, out of the three disciplines, to build consistency in the water because particularly when you’re putting in big efforts on the run or on the bike, you might need a bit more time to recover but because it’s not weight bearing, you can recover a lot quicker in the water, so that consistency builds a lot easier in the water doesn’t it?
RYAN GIULIANO: Definitely, there’s even times where after a long run or a big, hard, long brick workout, I actually prefer to go hop in and do a quick swim, just because it almost flushes the body and you almost feel better after getting a good swim in. I think it definitely can pay off.
BRAD BROWN: As far as workouts go, what do you love doing in the water?
RYAN GIULIANO: I would say I like the fast stuff. As I mentioned before, I love doing quick, fast speed, so anything repeat, 25’s or 50’s in the pool is one of my favourites. The ones that I dread the most are those long, where you’re swimming 500m+ at a time, I like that quick turnover and repeating.
BRAD BROWN: You mentioned one of the things that’s kept you fresh in the sport and avoided burnout is mixing things up, do you find you do that a lot in the water? I get terribly bored in the water, but I think it’s because I don’t mix things up enough. Do you really mix things up a lot?
RYAN GIULIANO: That’s a tough one, I’d say I do mix it up quite a bit, especially in the summer time. I can walk to a lake that’s right by my house and jump in pretty much any time I want, so a lot of times I will mix it up in between the pool and open water and I think that helps a lot, just because you’re not getting in that routine of just swimming lap after lap, back and forth in the pool. It’s really nice having that lake right by my house that I can jump in any time I want and mix it up if needed.
Swimming open water an advantage?
BRAD BROWN: Swimming open water, not that the technique changes a ton, but there are little nuances that differ from swimming in a pool and do you find that that gives you a bit of an advantage, that you do do a bit of open water as part of your training?
RYAN GIULIANO: Yeah, there’s definitely a different feel to it, I mean you’re not stopping every 25m and stopping at a wall or flip turning, just to start over again. You get into a rhythm and you get your body used to swimming without looking at a line underneath you and there’s all those little small dynamics that take play in the open water that’s definitely beneficial if you can get out in the open water a little bit more.
BRAD BROWN: I think a lot of people have a goal of swimming a sub one hour Ironman swim, what’s the key to going under 60 minutes?
RYAN GIULIANO: I would say the biggest part is working on that speed. I know a lot of people that will just put in the time and just swim a lot, but I think the biggest thing for me is working on faster swimming for shorter amounts of time and building that endurance around it because if you can’t swim fast for short periods of time, it’s going to be hard to swim fast for a long period of time. Working on that short end has paid off for me.
BRAD BROWN: I think that’s the quote of the podcast and we’ll leave it at that. Ryan, if you can’t swim fast for short, you’re not going to swim fast for long, there you go. Ryan Giuliano, once again thank you so much for joining us today, much appreciated, we look forward to catching up next time.
RYAN GIULIANO: All right, thank you very much.
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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