If you're like the vast majority of triathletes, swimming is where you struggle the most.
Let's face it, humans are land animals. Swimming proficiently doesn't come easy, but rest assured there is hope.
The offseason is an excellent time of the year to improve upon your weakness in the water and start swimming faster.
More: 4 Tips for an Effective Offseason
Instead of ignoring your swim skills (or lack thereof), it's time to face them head on. Follow these three steps to help you reach your next swim PR.
1. Get a Swim Coach (or a friend)
Swimming is technique intensive. Learning proper form and or revisiting your "swim technique" will go a long way.
If your legs are dragging behind you or your breathing isn't in sync you'll pay the price by moving slower and feeling completely out of breath.
More: How to Streamline Your Stroke
Do yourself a huge favor and find an experienced swim coach. Better yet, find a coach who is experienced in working with triathletes and has worked with others with a similar ability to you.
Your swim coach will be able to evaluate your stroke and should offer specific drills and suggestions to improve.
You should plan to see your swim coach two or three times over a few weeks so you have time to practice in between. This way you'll be able to progress further and continue to build upon what you covered in your first session.
More: 4 Steps to a Smooth 1.5K Swim
Many swim coaches will offer video analysis if you ask. Whether it's done underwater or solely from the pool deck, there is nothing more valuable than seeing yourself on tape. Athletes are often improve their skills more quickly and become more aware of flaws in their technique they might not have noticed before.
If hiring a swim coach is not in your cards, consider asking a friend or training partner to tape you. You can do this by using a smart phone or a similar device. Finding drills online to improve your shortcomings is easy with a simple Google search.
Tip: You may want to consider finding a swim coach who is not necessarily a life-time swimmer or Olympic gold medalist. Sometimes athletes find it easier to relate to and learn from someone who once struggled in a similar manner.
More: The Art of Graceful Swimming