5 Tips to a Strong Swim in Your Next Triathlon

author : Tri Swim Coach
comments : 1
By Kevin Koskella
TriSwimCoach.com

The question is: will you will finish your next triathlon swim strong, or will you run out of steam before you even start the majority of your race?

Balancing your energy levels throughout the triathlon swim can be a challenge, especially as no matter how much you train, there are always several factors that are out of your control: wind and wave conditions, bumping into fellow competitors, or a mishap with a buoy. But by focusing on those factors that you can control or influence during your race, you can increase the likelihood substantially that you will have a strong swim finish.The most ideal situation would be to learn how to read and pace your personal energy. Awareness of your body and how you are expending energy throughout the race is important.

As you are training, spend time becoming consciously aware of how you feel during workouts, paying particular attention to when you start to lose energy or when you feel the most energetic. To effectively train, you will also want to include several full race simulations both in the pool and in open water. You need to know how your body will react under normal race circumstances as those feelings will be amplified on race day. While the extra adrenalin can be an advantage, if it is not utilized correctly, you can wind up out of steam too early, causing you to finish your swim with nothing left in the tank!

Practice shifting gears in the pool by doing a long swim (i.e. the distance of your race swim). Count your strokes and keep track of your average stroke count. Every 200 yards or so, pick up your pace but maintain your average stroke count.

Here is a look at a break down of your race into four quarters:

1. You need to gain a strong position during the initial portion of the swim. Work to stay out of people’s way during the initial fight for pole position while also being assertive to gain a strong position for yourself. Most people will be fighting to stay to the inside of the pack. Go against the grain: start towards the outside of the pack and move your way in as you get closer to the first buoy. You will gain more by having clean water then you will lose in the little bit of extra distance added.

2. Once you get past the opening part of the swim, you need to conserve and pace your energy levels as you will need it later in your triathlon. Get into a rhythm that works for you and maintain a steady pace. Keep in mind high elbows- both on the catch and recovery.

3. During the 3rd quarter of the race is the time to kick it into gear. Many swimmers will wait until the final quarter to turn it on. Gain an advantage and pick it up earlier to achieve a stronger position. However, this does not mean to lay it all on the line! A fast swim is not going to help your overall race much, but blowing yourself out will definitely hurt your triathlon. The idea here is to shift gears, but keep the effort below 100%.

4. Finish the last part of the swim by simply maintaining your rhythm and technique, much like the second quarter (#2). Grab plenty of air at this point. Keep your kick going as you will need to warm up your legs for the bike coming up. You want to be in position to get moving on your bike as quickly and as smoothly as possible- and not be ready to collapse after your swim!

5. Don't stand up and start running until you can touch the bottom of the lake (or ocean, or river, etc.) with your hand. Too early or too late and you will lose ground and/or energy- either working too hard in the water, or trying to run and struggling to get your legs out of the water while you run.

By employing the above techniques, you should be on your way to a strong and stress-free swim!

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date: June 22, 2010

Author


Tri Swim Coach

I'm at http://www.TriSwimCoach.com,a resource for beginning through intermediate level triathletes looking for help with swimming. The site features a free email newsletter offering tips and articles on triathlon swimming. I have also written an electronic book titled “The Complete Guide to Triathlon Swimming” and created "The Essential Triathlon Swimming DVD", both available on www.triswimcoach.com.

For a 20% DISCOUNT on Zoomers Z2 fins and Freestyler paddles, go to www.finisinc.com and use discount code ‘aggies20’ at checkout!

Author

avatarTri Swim Coach

I'm at http://www.TriSwimCoach.com,a resource for beginning through intermediate level triathletes looking for help with swimming. The site features a free email newsletter offering tips and articles on triathlon swimming. I have also written an electronic book titled “The Complete Guide to Triathlon Swimming” and created "The Essential Triathlon Swimming DVD", both available on www.triswimcoach.com.

For a 20% DISCOUNT on Zoomers Z2 fins and Freestyler paddles, go to www.finisinc.com and use discount code ‘aggies20’ at checkout!

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