Sure, sure…the swimming shop says that every triathlete needs a snorkel. Big surprise. But in all honesty, this is candid advice – a center-mount snorkel is an essential training tool for every triathlete. Why? Because…
- A center-mount snorkel = proper head and body position
- Proper head and body position = a more efficient stroke
- A more efficient stroke = more energy on race day
- More energy on race day = PR’s
- Simple math, right? If you have yet to take the snorkel plunge, we’ve outlined the three keys steps below. If you already have a snorkel in your arsenal, good on you! Skip step #1 and try out #2 and #3 to kick start your race season training plan.
Step 1: Choose A Snorkel
Swimmer’s Snorkel The original.
The technical innovation and high-quality design that put FINIS on the map. With classic features like the one-way purge valve, adjustable head bracket, and medical-grade mouthpiece, this is the go-to option for swimmers and coaches all over the world.
The Glide hosts most of the features of the Swimmer’s Snorkel, with a simplified design and a slightly lower price point. The Glide has a shorter hydrodynamic tube, making it easier to clear after turns. The Glide is a great option for long distance or multi-stroke training.
The curved design promotes the head position and body alignment specific to freestyle technique. Ideal for high-speed training and swimmers that need added focus on a stable head position.
Step 2: Focus on Drills
Spend quality time getting comfortable with the snorkel – we advise spending a portion of every workout working on drills and technique. Try the following drills with a snorkel for added focus on freestyle technique.
Simple Float: Breathing with a snorkel can be a bit disorienting, so take the time to get comfortable. Float on your stomach for 30 seconds at a time and simply focus on long, relaxed inhalations and exhalations.
Head Tap: With the snorkel on, tap the side of your head during each stroke recovery. This drill nicely emphasizes body rotation and hand placement.
6 Kick Roll: With one arm out in front, kick 6 times on each side between stroke cycles
Shark Fin: When the arm is at the peak of the recovery (high elbow), pause for 2 full counts before placing your hand in the water. This drill is great for practicing a high elbow recovery, a key skill for navigating choppy or crowded waters on race day.
Step 3: Build Endurance
After you’ve taken the time to get comfortable with breathing and technique, dive into longer sets with the snorkel that will build up your cardiovascular endurance.
Build a Base: 1 x 400, 1 x 300, 1 x 200, 1 x 100 (2 or 3 rounds on heavy training days)
Build Speed: 3 x 300 (1st 300 easy, 2nd 300 Medium, 3rd 300 FAST!)
Track Your Progress: 500 for time (track your times week-to-week)
(Original article from FINIS Swim Tips)