Surviving the Triathlon Swim – Issue 48

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Surviving the Triathlon Swim Newsletter

Dear Friend,

My condolences to those in the triathlon community who have losses from Hurricane Katrina. I wish you all the best and hope for a speedy recovery back to “normal” life.

I ran across a website where a group of triathletes is doing an Ironman to raise money for Katrina. I thought it was interesting enough to post in my newsletter. See below for the complete story.

On another note, if anyone has signed up for the Tri Swim Coach newsletter and NOT received the full 4-session online swim clinic, please email me and let me know what you are missing. I will forward whatever you missed to you.

Happy Swimming!

Surviving the Tri Start

The start of a triathlon can be nervewracking, tiring, intimidating, frustrating, and even discouraging (why do we do this sport??). But don’t let all this get to you! The start for everyone is a crazy cluster of splashing, starts and stops, physical contact, and swimmers trying to seperate from each other.

Here are some tips to deal with what some consider to be the toughest part of any triathlon:

  1. Expect the worst. Go into the event expecting that the start will not be easy. Know that you will bump into people, others will bump into you, but 99% of the time it is all by accident. Also know that the chaos at the beginning will not last for the entire swim, it will break up quickly as different speed swimmers separate.
  2. Don’t panic. Keep your breathing from getting short. Stay as relaxed as you can while everyone else tries to get pole position. Don’t let others being frantic affect your state of mind.
  3. Stay to the outside. Many will try to stay to the inside, as close to in line with the first buoy as they can get. Don’t follow the pack. Start outside and work your way in as you approach buouy #1. You many not get perfectly clean water, but you will save yourself from much of the madness.
  4. Run until the water level is at your knees. This will maximize your time on land without being slowed by running through water.
  5. Use shorter strokes to get through the chop. If you are swimming in the ocean and it is a choppy day, this technique helps tremendously. Once you get to some smoother water, go back to long strokes to maximize efficiency and conserve energy.

These 5 tips should help you to at least tolerate, if not enjoy, the begginning of a triathlon!

For more tips and the Complete Guide, see

Tip of the Month: The Pull

In freestyle, I see a lot of different ways to pull hands through the water. Some people use short strokes, with others you can see them fling their wrists up at the end, creating a splash of water. The best way to create the greatest propulsion is to push the water towards your feet, or behind you.

Philadelphia Insurance ‘Ironman’ CEO Joins Triathletes for Katrina Relief

September 7, 2005

James J. Maguire, Jr., chief executive officer of Philadelphia Insurance Companies, and several other triathletes from the company will compete in the Panama City Beach, Florida Ironman, (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, and a 26.2 mile run) on November 5, 2005. Team PHLY will compete in this event for Hurricane Katrina victims and are asking for a pledge of $10 for each mile in the 140.6 mile Ironman race.

“We feel a strong sense of responsibility to help those whose lives have been devastated by Hurricane Katrina. Our employees have already begun to help in many ways and the Company has agreed to match donations up to a specified amount,” said CEO Maguire.

Philadelphia Insurance Companies has selected the American Red Cross as its beneficiary for the hurricane relief efforts, and donations can be made online at

Philadelphia Insurance Companies subscribes to the belief that fitness is a key ingredient to wellness and a healthy life. In operation since 1962, Philadelphia Insurance Companies, whose commercial lines subsidiaries are rated A+ (Superior) by A.M. Best Company underwrites commercial property/casualty, personal lines and professional liability insurance products.

For more information or to download applications, visit or call 877.