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Triathlete swim advice & Kiefer backpack product review

Posted Jan 16 2013 1:07pm
If you are currently training for a triathlon event and wanting to improve your swimming, the most important thing you can do right now is to get into the water.

Depending on where you live (weather), pool times and accessibly and overall motivation to jump into water, only to swim the exact same distance, over and over again for x-amount of time, it's likely that many of you will put off swimming until you start to freak out that it is time to start working on your swimming.

As a coach, I call this fear-based-training and it isn't limited to the triathlete who is not comfortable in the water. Fear based training also applies to individuals who do an excessive amount of mileage or volume on the weeks leading up to a race because of the fear of not feeling prepared and thus, the need to "test" themselves that they are physically prepared for race day. Sadly, they end up wasting their best performance in training and end up feeling overtrained, on the verge of injury and inefficient with race day pacing all because of overlook key opportunities to work on skills, drills and efficiency.

I personally couldn't imagine my life without swimming. It is my favorite thing to do to clear my mind and to zone out and I feel very natural in the water. This was not the case when I started riding my first triathlon bike as it took many years to learn how to feel "one" with my bike.

If you are a new swimmer or someone who constantly feels sloppy in the water (regardless of swim speed/pace), it's important to not rush the process of drills and skills. Rather than testing yourself with speed sets and trying to get in x-yardage per workout, focus on time-based swimming whether it is 20 minutes or an hour. There's nothing wrong with doing a main set but don't let your focus on yards interfere with the priority of swimming with good form. The most productive workout you can do in the water right now is to focus on smooth, steady swimming. Rest as much as you need on the wall as no one will penalize you for catching your breath. Frequency is better than long distance if this works with your schedule. Rather than wasting 90 minutes, two times a week on long distance swimming or speed sets, the newbie or uncomfortable swimmer should be in the water as often as possible. As I tell several of my athletes "float" and "play" once a week in the water. This takes the pressure off of distance and time and instead, relaxes their brain as to a specific workout ahead that they may be hesitant to do due to lack of confidence, energy or motivation. Like any physical activity, once you get going, you are happy you did it. Use this time to focus on your catch, kick (from the hips), roll, bilateral breathing, hand entry and head position. Yes - so much to think about but it's much easier to dedicate 4-6 weeks NOW to skill focused swimming than to try to create the perfect stroke along with learning how to be efficient in the water (in order to bike and run strong afterward) along with trying to build intensity and volume at the same time 4-6 weeks before your key race.

As we all know, new gear brings new motivation.

Recently, I was contacted by Kiefer (not the yogurt) about reviewing one of their products. The first thing that came to mind was a swim bag! It's been a long time since I have had a dedicated "swim bag" and not a "gym" or "transition" bag. This instantly took me back to me back to my College swimming days and I couldn't wait to receive the backpack.

Kiefer Team Backpack

One of my favorite things about bags is all the compartments and this bag has no shortage of them. The bag isn't super large so it fits well in a locker at the Y when I swim. Also, since I do end up using the bag for multi-sports, it is nice to have mesh pockets, inside and outside small pockets and the large opening in the middle. This keeps me organized since I tend to be on-the-go a lot for swim, bike and run. The bag is comfortable (which is really important on the back - especially before/after swimming) and the quality of the bag is great as I expect it to withhold my very active lifestyle.

Another great thing..the bag is on sale!
Thank you Kiefer for providing me with this free backpack for me to try and use throughout my upcoming season.

A few other swim-related products in my collection

TYR Women's Thin Strap Reversible Swimsuit: Black/Red


Depending on where you swim, how often you swim and the quality of your swim material, keeping a swim suit for more than a few months is likely impossible. They stretch, fade and lose color very quickly. Karel purchased this suit for me in early summer and surprisingly, it is still holding up in great condition. It has not stretched or faded and I love that it is reversible.

NOOTCA 207



If you are currently training for a triathlon event and wanting to improve your swimming, the most important thing you can do right now is to get into the water.

Depending on where you live (weather), pool times and accessibly and overall motivation to jump into water, only to swim the exact same distance, over and over again for x-amount of time, it's likely that many of you will put off swimming until you start to freak out that it is time to start working on your swimming.

As a coach, I call this fear-based-training and it isn't limited to the triathlete who is not comfortable in the water. Fear based training also applies to individuals who do an excessive amount of mileage or volume on the weeks leading up to a race because of the fear of not feeling prepared and thus, the need to "test" themselves that they are physically prepared for race day. Sadly, they end up wasting their best performance in training and end up feeling overtrained, on the verge of injury and inefficient with race day pacing all because of overlook key opportunities to work on skills, drills and efficiency.

I personally couldn't imagine my life without swimming. It is my favorite thing to do to clear my mind and to zone out and I feel very natural in the water. This was not the case when I started riding my first triathlon bike as it took many years to learn how to feel "one" with my bike.

If you are a new swimmer or someone who constantly feels sloppy in the water (regardless of swim speed/pace), it's important to not rush the process of drills and skills. Rather than testing yourself with speed sets and trying to get in x-yardage per workout, focus on time-based swimming whether it is 20 minutes or an hour. There's nothing wrong with doing a main set but don't let your focus on yards interfere with the priority of swimming with good form. The most productive workout you can do in the water right now is to focus on smooth, steady swimming. Rest as much as you need on the wall as no one will penalize you for catching your breath. Frequency is better than long distance if this works with your schedule. Rather than wasting 90 minutes, two times a week on long distance swimming or speed sets, the newbie or uncomfortable swimmer should be in the water as often as possible. As I tell several of my athletes "float" and "play" once a week in the water. This takes the pressure off of distance and time and instead, relaxes their brain as to a specific workout ahead that they may be hesitant to do due to lack of confidence, energy or motivation. Like any physical activity, once you get going, you are happy you did it. Use this time to focus on your catch, kick (from the hips), roll, bilateral breathing, hand entry and head position. Yes - so much to think about but it's much easier to dedicate 4-6 weeks NOW to skill focused swimming than to try to create the perfect stroke along with learning how to be efficient in the water (in order to bike and run strong afterward) along with trying to build intensity and volume at the same time 4-6 weeks before your key race.

As we all know, new gear brings new motivation.

Recently, I was contacted by Kiefer (not the yogurt) about reviewing one of their products. The first thing that came to mind was a swim bag! It's been a long time since I have had a dedicated "swim bag" and not a "gym" or "transition" bag. This instantly took me back to me back to my College swimming days and I couldn't wait to receive the backpack.

Kiefer Team Backpack

One of my favorite things about bags is all the compartments and this bag has no shortage of them. The bag isn't super large so it fits well in a locker at the Y when I swim. Also, since I do end up using the bag for multi-sports, it is nice to have mesh pockets, inside and outside small pockets and the large opening in the middle. This keeps me organized since I tend to be on-the-go a lot for swim, bike and run. The bag is comfortable (which is really important on the back - especially before/after swimming) and the quality of the bag is great as I expect it to withhold my very active lifestyle.

Another great thing..the bag is on sale!
Thank you Kiefer for providing me with this free backpack for me to try and use throughout my upcoming season.

A few other swim-related products in my collection

TYR Women's Thin Strap Reversible Swimsuit: Black/Red


Depending on where you swim, how often you swim and the quality of your swim material, keeping a swim suit for more than a few months is likely impossible. They stretch, fade and lose color very quickly. Karel purchased this suit for me in early summer and surprisingly, it is still holding up in great condition. It has not stretched or faded and I love that it is reversible.

NOOTCA 207



If you are currently training for a triathlon event and wanting to improve your swimming, the most important thing you can do right now is to get into the water.

Depending on where you live (weather), pool times and accessibly and overall motivation to jump into water, only to swim the exact same distance, over and over again for x-amount of time, it's likely that many of you will put off swimming until you start to freak out that it is time to start working on your swimming.

As a coach, I call this fear-based-training and it isn't limited to the triathlete who is not comfortable in the water. Fear based training also applies to individuals who do an excessive amount of mileage or volume on the weeks leading up to a race because of the fear of not feeling prepared and thus, the need to "test" themselves that they are physically prepared for race day. Sadly, they end up wasting their best performance in training and end up feeling overtrained, on the verge of injury and inefficient with race day pacing all because of overlook key opportunities to work on skills, drills and efficiency.

I personally couldn't imagine my life without swimming. It is my favorite thing to do to clear my mind and to zone out and I feel very natural in the water. This was not the case when I started riding my first triathlon bike as it took many years to learn how to feel "one" with my bike.

If you are a new swimmer or someone who constantly feels sloppy in the water (regardless of swim speed/pace), it's important to not rush the process of drills and skills. Rather than testing yourself with speed sets and trying to get in x-yardage per workout, focus on time-based swimming whether it is 20 minutes or an hour. There's nothing wrong with doing a main set but don't let your focus on yards interfere with the priority of swimming with good form. The most productive workout you can do in the water right now is to focus on smooth, steady swimming. Rest as much as you need on the wall as no one will penalize you for catching your breath. Frequency is better than long distance if this works with your schedule. Rather than wasting 90 minutes, two times a week on long distance swimming or speed sets, the newbie or uncomfortable swimmer should be in the water as often as possible. As I tell several of my athletes "float" and "play" once a week in the water. This takes the pressure off of distance and time and instead, relaxes their brain as to a specific workout ahead that they may be hesitant to do due to lack of confidence, energy or motivation. Like any physical activity, once you get going, you are happy you did it. Use this time to focus on your catch, kick (from the hips), roll, bilateral breathing, hand entry and head position. Yes - so much to think about but it's much easier to dedicate 4-6 weeks NOW to skill focused swimming than to try to create the perfect stroke along with learning how to be efficient in the water (in order to bike and run strong afterward) along with trying to build intensity and volume at the same time 4-6 weeks before your key race.

As we all know, new gear brings new motivation.

Recently, I was contacted by Kiefer (not the yogurt) about reviewing one of their products. The first thing that came to mind was a swim bag! It's been a long time since I have had a dedicated "swim bag" and not a "gym" or "transition" bag. This instantly took me back to me back to my College swimming days and I couldn't wait to receive the backpack.

Kiefer Team Backpack

One of my favorite things about bags is all the compartments and this bag has no shortage of them. The bag isn't super large so it fits well in a locker at the Y when I swim. Also, since I do end up using the bag for multi-sports, it is nice to have mesh pockets, inside and outside small pockets and the large opening in the middle. This keeps me organized since I tend to be on-the-go a lot for swim, bike and run. The bag is comfortable (which is really important on the back - especially before/after swimming) and the quality of the bag is great as I expect it to withhold my very active lifestyle.

Another great thing..the bag is on sale!
Thank you Kiefer for providing me with this free backpack for me to try and use throughout my upcoming season.

A few other swim-related products in my collection

TYR Women's Thin Strap Reversible Swimsuit: Black/Red


Depending on where you swim, how often you swim and the quality of your swim material, keeping a swim suit for more than a few months is likely impossible. They stretch, fade and lose color very quickly. Karel purchased this suit for me in early summer and surprisingly, it is still holding up in great condition. It has not stretched or faded and I love that it is reversible.

NOOTCA 207


Sporti Power Swim Paddles



Attitude Solid Latex Cap


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