Triathlon Mind Training – Issue #65

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Triathlon Mind Training Newsletter

An often neglected aspect of triathlon training in general is the mental part of training.

Completing an Ironman even takes an incredible amount of “mental toughness”. Even finishing your first race of any length is not possible if you aren’t mentally prepared!

The swim in particular can be challenging in a mental sense, from the sheer distance, to the mass start, to navigation, there is a lot to work on besides just technique and endurance!

It is important to develop your confidence in this sport, through both physical and mental work.

The pros ALL work on mental preparation, in one form or another, as evidenced on Insider Secrets for Beginner Triathletes. This stuff doesn’t come overnight!

Mental work involves some kind of daily meditation. Focus on whatever aspect of triathlon is freaking you out the most! Envision your race or parts of your race- being done successfully, with ease.

If your toughest leg is the swim, think of the start, swimming your own race, finding a rhythm, navigating around the buoys, and finishing strong.

Picture perfect stroke technique and leaving the water with lots of energy, ready to go for the final 2/3rds of the race.

Developing your mental game is a must if you have not started doing this already. Whether you are a pro going after an Ironman victory, or a newbie attempting your first sprint triathlon, a strong mental approach will allow you to achieve your goals- and have fun doing it!

“Besides pride, loyalty, discipline, heart, and mind, confidence is the key to all the locks.”
-Joe Paterno

Congratulations to our Wetsuit Winner!

We ran a contest for new subscribers that started in January this year and ended 6/1/06. The winner of the Blue Seventy (formerly Ironman) Wetsuit was Kristi Allison of Lampases, Texas.

I asked Kristi a few questions, and got some great, informative answers that I think we can all benefit from:

Q: How many triathlons have you done?

  • Sprints – 6 or 7 ???
  • In between Sprint and Olympic – (Marble Falls Triathlon) – 2
  • Olympic Distances – 6 – three of which are Xterra off-road triathlons
  • Half Ironman – 1

Q: Has the Tri Swim Coach website, newsletters, or materials helped your swim in any way?

I love the newsletter email updates. The swim workouts and tips I get are GREAT and extremely helpful. I learned a lot!!! Especially since the swim is my weakest portion of the race.

Q: What is your biggest challenge in triathlon?

As mentioned above – Swimming is my biggest challenge in triathlons. I consider myself a pretty good biker – no record holder by any means – but I can hold my own. And I’m an OK runner – I’m better when I actually put in interval time. BUT, the swim has been a challenge from day one. I did my first triathlon – Capitol of Texas Tri – before I even had proper training on freestyle swimming – so I swam the breaststroke with my head above water the entire race – it was quite humorous. And, I’ve worked on it since then. I haven’t been very fast in the swim, but I’m working on it. It just seems that every time I think I’m doing good – there is something else to change – it’s a never ending battle. I’m tired of getting beat because of my swim – and I am DETERMINED to be a fast swimmer. I’m taking it ONE stroke at a TIME. I was very excited when I found your newsletter.

Q: What is your biggest goal in the sport?

I guess my biggest goal in the sport of triathlon is to make it a lifetime sport – not just a phase. I’ve been doing them since 1999, and have gotten more competitive over the years. I would like to be at the top – of course – but more important is to stay consistent, and enjoy EVERY race. There are times when I catch myself getting caught up in the pressures – and pride of being the best – that’s usually when I get beat the worst. The funniest time is when I literally fought a girl, elbow to elbow (with a few jabs in there) to the finish line of the Marble Falls Triathlon – only to find that we fought for close to last place in our age group. I did, however, beat my friend, who got 3rd in her age group – GO FIGURE!!!

Workout of the Month

Since anyone can write a high-intensity or high-yardage workout, most of what you will get from the newsletters will be technique focused.

This workout is no exception! Enjoy.

7/8th’s Catchup: Swim freestyle, and almost touch your hands out in front, but not quite
3/4’s Catchup: Same as above, but enter your hand in the water aligned with the elbow of the extended arm
Distance Per Stroke: Stretch out your freestyle
Cruise: An interval you can make with around :10 rest (i.e. Cruise :05 would mean adding 5 seconds to your Cruise interval).
Free Golf: Count the number of strokes you take. Subtract 1 per 50, but keep the same pace.

WARMUP: 300, focus on breathing every 3 or 5 strokes

DRILL: 8×50’s
#1-2) 7/8ths Catchup
#3-4) 3/4ths Catchup
#5-6) Distance Per Stroke
#7-8) Descend stroke count per 50

MAIN: 8×100’s, 4×50’s, 8×100’s done as:
First set of 8×100’s: 1-4 @ Cruise + :10 or Rest= :20, 5-8 @ Cruise
+:05 or Rest= :15
4×50’s: Free Golf @ 1:00 or Rest= :20
Second set of 8×100’s: 1-4 @ Cruise or Rest=:10, 5-8 @ Cruise -:05

The above set gets progressively more difficult in terms of rest. The point of doing the 4×50’s in the middle is to remind you to not forget about your stroke. Stay focused and see if you can make the intervals while maintaining your long stroke!

BREATH CONTROL: 300, Breathe every 3-5-3-7 by 50. Use Freestyler paddles if you have them. (if not you can get them at, don’t forget to use discount code ‘aggies20’ for 20% off)

WARM DOWN: 200 easy

TOTAL: 3000!