Interested in getting the most out of your swim workouts as a triathlete? Gerry Rodrigues, a renowned swim and triathlon coach, has the key for triathletes looking to maximize their time in the water for best results. Rodrigues has a new free podcast called Be Race Ready — for the next few weeks, TMC will break down the most important swim tips of the podcast to help you fine-tune your open water swimming in time for race season.
Rodrigues grew up in Trinidad, where he spent his youth swimming in the ocean. With decades of experience coaching swimming and triathlon as well as years as an open water and collegiate swimmer, Rodrigues has taken what he’s learned to coach triathletes in his widely successful program.
Over the last 32 years, Rodrigues says he has tested various swim coach methods and been able to narrow down the most important information for triathletes.
“Unlike competitive swimmers,” he tells TMC, “triathletes don’t have 10+ hours to spend in the pool. The average age-grouper has around three hours to work on their swimming in the week. I’ve developed a program that takes the most important elements of swim training and apply them for triathletes.”
Rodrigues points out that training for competitive pool swimming should be different from open water. “There’s a lot of info out there from many coaches on swimming,” he explains. “It can be hard for triathletes to figure out what’s the correct information for them. For example, kick sets aren’t valuable to triathletes but if you’re swimming with a master’s team, they’ll likely be in the program.”
Rodrigues is based in California, where his program has attracted athletes from around the world. He has coached Canada’s own Magali Tisseyre and more recently, Lionel Sanders. Around 70 pro triathletes have come to him over the years, from anywhere from a few weeks to a couple years. All have seen results in their swimming.
For triathletes outside of California who want to follow his program, the first episode of his Be Race Ready podcast talks about timeline for improvement for using the Tower 26 open water swim tips in your swim training. Rodrigues’ plan falls around the North American triathlon calendar, seeing Kona as the end of the season and targeting the summer as time to be in top swimming shape for A races.
“The point of the podcast is for triathletes to be able to take the concepts we present and build them into your own training schedule,” he explains.