Springer - cheers for that, interesting to see what a pure swimmer gets up to
The distances I tend to swim over for tris are 400-750m (sprint tri, which is usually done in a pool with turns) and 1,500m (olympic, usually done in a lake or the sea in a wetsuit). Swimming is a bit of a strange one in tri, mass open water swims resemble a brawl at times and of the 3 events it's the one you can generally gain least time on, so people tend not to focus on it - most triathletes aren't particularly good swimmers and it's more about not losing time and not tiring yourself out too much before the bike/run, so technique and being efficient can really help.
On that point, what do you make of the total immersion technique? A lot of people seem to swear by it, but my g/f (who swam at a very high level in her teens) reckons it's bollocks - Link
Generally only get to train in the pool once or twice a week and sessions are fairly irregular, so would welcome your thoughts on training.
Pleasure Mate. TBH, never heard of it and watching the video it's BS. Sure, it is great technique - important aspect is body position and what you're doing underwater but he is also swimming extremely slowly. Would be nigh impossible to race with that kind of stroke and certainly laughable for any open water swimming. BTW, is your GF From SA?
Where do you live Joost (assume you're ex South African or still in SA)? Also, what type of pool do you work out in -- 25m or 50m?
The workouts I posted could be reduced yardage wise and tailored to your speed and would certainly help for the shorter distances. Yeah, I grew up in Surf Lifesaving and have done many open water swims in the surf (Generally 3.5km) and also done the world famous Midmar mile many times. You defo. need to practice sprintwork inbetween your distance work to allow for the frantic starts, swim around the buoy's etc. For the Tri's, you want to be able to swim a comfortable yet decent 1500 which will put you ahead of the main body but not kill you for the bike and run as gaining a few minutes and killing yourself would be counterproductive. I would focus on your stroke - ensuring you have good extension over the water and pull through under while ensuring your body is not snaking (in other words, hand entry into the water is between head and shoulder and not in front of the head. You do not want to be pulling underwater across your body - rather down the side of your body - hope that makes sense.
Are you able to swim for at least an hour when you do swim? Help me out and let me know how much time you do have when you swim and how far you swim in that time. I'll be happy to send some workouts for you to get in shape. Also, what would be your average 100m when just swimming along comfortably in practice + your 100m time if I said swim a 100m at 85%?
Send me that and I'll send you some w/outs w/time intervals for you.