I must say that one of the best things that’s ever happened to triathlon training is YouTube. You might not know it but it contains a treasure trove of training tips, the beauty of which is that you actually see them demonstrated. Whether it’s swimming or biking or running, there’s a video that will help you improve in some small detail or other.
This is especially true for swimming. Although nothing beats having a personal coach or enrolling in swimming class (TI Manila, here I come!), a video demo of some aspect of swimming is very helpful. As you might already realize, swimming is a sport which demands more or less the right technique before you can start increasing the volume of training. The problem is that reading through swimming literature will drown you (ahem) with a lot of terms like “high elbow”, “catch phase”, “recovery stroke”, etc. which doesn’t make sense unless you see it. And the nice thing about videos is that you can pause or repeat a segment until you get it.
One of the bonuses for triathletes about the swimming videos is that many of them are made by triathletes for triathletes. For example, they say that a triathlete swimmer is a little bit different from the pure swimmer because the former makes less use of the legs for the kick. Now there are different schools of thought regarding this, and I’m the least person to give an opinion about it. The only thing I know is that I have to improve my kick because my legs are such a drag in the water!
Regarding biking, I’ve seen biking videos on how to cross a street in traffic, how to look over your shoulder, etc. But one of the most incredibly useful biking videos is how to fix a flat! Again nothing beats having a friend demonstrate it for you, but then at least you get what can be said as “best practice”.
Of course, other than the training tips, simply watching some running video can be inspiring or amusing for those times that you need some motivation or laughter. Who knows you might be the guy or girl to give the next training tip or inspiration 🙂
Some of the useful swimming videos I’ve seen: