Finish Your Triathlon Swim Strong
The question is whether you will finish the race strong or whether you will run out of steam. 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, and bumping into fellow competitors. 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. How else are you going to know when to turn it on and off during the race?
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 your swim finish to be poor.
There a few basic rules of thumb to consider when working to become a swim competitor:
You need to gain a strong position during the initial portion of the swim. Work to stay out of peopleâ€™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. So if you are a stronger swimmer, you can afford to take a risk and move slightly to the outside. This way you will be swimming against less of the crowd, where it is less likely that you will bump into people which can slow you down.
Once you get past the opening part of the swim, you need to conserve and pace your energy levels as you will need it towards the end of the race.
During the 3rd quarter of the race is the time to kick it into gear. Many swimmers will wait until the final quarter to do to the same. Gain an advantage and kick it in earlier to gain a stronger position.
Finish the last part of the swim by simply maintaining your rhythm and technique. You want to be in position to get moving on your bike as quickly and as smoothly as possible- but not be ready to collapse before getting on your bike!
Discover how your body feels while swimming at various speeds and distances to develop a sense for when to turn it on and off on race day.
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