How to prepare for your Triathlon
Swim | The Beginner Guide

So, maybe you’ve been brave enough to sign up for your first virtual triathlon? Or maybe you need some guidance on how to structure and improve your triathlon swim training? No matter what the reason is, you’ve come to the right place.

Don’t get me wrong, there is no ‘one-size fits all’ when it comes to triathlon swimming preparation, and with the vast amount of beginner articles out there, it’s not easy to find the miracle plan! However, this plan runs through the basic fundamentals of triathlon swimming preparation, and if you implement and follow these correctly, you WILL see dramatic improvements.  

Be Consistent – Swim 2-3 times per week

Let’s start off with a very important tip. Being a consistent swimmer is key to improving, and on the flip side, a lack of consistency is going to hit your training progression like a ‘misplaced’ buoy! It’s very easy to become demotivated or lose track of training, therefore optimising consistency can only be a beneficial.

The recommendation is to swim 2-3 times a week to really keep your training consistency at an optimal level. A good plan to follow is to start with three sessions a week, to build an effective foundation, before potentially scaling down to two sessions, in order to best manage your training regime.

"Using our DUO Swim app is one way to easily log and manage your swim sessions."

One way to manage this aspect of triathlon swim training is fairly simple, schedule it! Using our DUO Swim app is one way to easily log and manage your swim sessions. Other examples could involve weekly Google Calendar plans that easily plan your weekly swims. If you treat your workouts as booked appointments, then consistency is a lot more easy to come by!  

Get a Coach – Our app | Follow a Structured Training Plan

Now a lot of beginners have this idea that coaches are only for semi or full professionals, and if this is true of you - you could not be more wrong. A swimming coach will be the eyes and brains of your progression, pointing out your mistakes, and being your main source of support. They will help you translate technical prompts into fluid swimming movements that will only enhance your triathlon swimming training. So, if you’re only just beginning your triathlon journey - get yourself a swim coach!  

Try to keep your swim coach sessions as small as you can (one-on-one would be the most ideal), and probe for as much individual feedback as possible. Our DUO Swim app is the perfect remote source for coaching, where out instructional videos will guide you through focusing on correct technique,  or make use of the video analysis feedback option where individual tips and critique is given for your improvement- the perfect one-to-one coaching if you ask me! By setting a coaching structure up for your triathlon swim training, you’ll make improvements way beyond trying to go alone, plus the enjoyment of seeing progress is priceless in this sport! Avoidance of bad swimming movements and technique early on in your development is also a great benefit of having a coach - as these can be really hard to correct once you become more established in the pool or open water!

Focus on your Swim Technique

This leads nicely on to the next step of this masterplan - focus on making your technique as efficient and effective as possible! Good technique will exhaust you less, and something as simple as proper stroke mechanics will take you that much further into your swim before becoming tired. Further, it will also reduce your risk of injury! You can make use of our DUO Swim app to perfect your technique, or learn from an abundance of videos on platforms such as YouTube.

Analyze perfect stroke mechanics!
Our journeys are available only in the DUO Swim App. Download now for iPhone to find the training journey that's right for you!

Get Filmed

Getting filmed can be a real game-changer in terms of your progress and motivation for swim training. Firstly, it is perfect for assessing the previous step- as it helps you aware and analyse where your current swimming technique is currently- an essential step for improving! Secondly, it will help your coach to guide and implement more detailed instructions, something that will make executing them a lot easier!

The more footage you can capture - the better! This means you should capture all angles above water, as well as below- which means you may need to invest in a GoPro or a smartphone waterproof case. To increase the quality of the videos captured, selfie-sticks (I know you have one) and tripods are great ways to capture stable shots, especially when walking along poolside. Sending these videos to your coach or the video analysis option provided by your DUO Swim app will help you understand what you’re doing well and what should be improved. Try to shoot videos every 4-6 weeks in order to monitor and compare your progress.


Equipment and swimming tools are a lot more important than you may think! They provide you with the basis to give your training that extra push in the right direction. One mistake you shouldn’t make, is buying a random bunch of training aids and use them until there’s nothing left - there is a time and place for everything! A good mix of using equipment and not should suffice. Here’s a brief overview of the most fundamental pieces of training equipment that you should use to isolate areas of your stroke, and refine technique: Fins, Kickboard, Pull Buoy, Snorkel and Paddles.

Vary your Paces

The final step before I let you continue with your path to swimming greatness is to vary your paces. If you mindlessly swim laps at the same constant speed, it creates a very low-value training environment, and secondly, your body adapts quickly to the demand! This means you will gain very little from all those hours you may spend in the pool, and plateau any training gains - nobody wants this! As a beginner, you will be confined to swimming shorter distances, concentrating on good swimming form, and occasionally venturing a little further. However, regardless of your swimming ability, being forced to think about your swimming form, whilst training at differing paces, will improve both your fitness and technique.

Congratulations on making it through my step-by-step guide of triathlon swimming for beginners. Taking this more systematic approach to your training can really help you take complete control of your improvements and outcomes.