Swim Tactics

I love the way the brother helps Marco always beat the clock. I only got it on the second time round. My brother's name is also Marco by the way. ;o)


There is a local triathlon race this Sunday. It's an Olympic distance race (1,500m swim, 40k bike, 10k run). I'm gagging at the bit to get stuck into this. It'll be my first triathlon since the Ironman last year in April. Time to clean out the cobwebs.

I really enjoy getting stuck into the swim. Lots of adrenaline causes people to go slightly crazy and blow themselves to bits in the first few hundred metres in the lake. Being able to control that is a bit of an art. I have a few suggestions which work well for me in most situations:

  • set aside enough time to ensure your wetsuit is on properly and sits nicely on the shoulders
  • timing chip under the wetsuit
  • knowing the swim course helps avoid stress
  • get into the water at least 15 minutes before race start (get used to the water temperature, make sure your goggles work and stick nicely, get rid of *adrenaline excess* - a quick 50 metres will help avoid hyperventilation)
  • I enjoy swimming out and looking back at the triathletes mingling at the start. I go underwater for about ten seconds to get into Zen mode and see whether I can see anything - like a pair of feet. I lock onto a tree or building which I use for sighting on the swim return leg.
  • if I am feeling confident I'll sit in the second line behind people who have strong jaws. You don't get jaws and have the balls to sit in the front row without good reason. Anyone who is in the front row will be faster than me. I make sure I get, and hold onto, a clean pair of feet as soon as possible. If this is your first race, no need to go too far to the front.
  • I start my wristwatch about a minute before the start gun. It helps avoid getting crushed while your fingers grapple for the start button.
  • the pace always settles at the first buoy. Have faith.
  • there is no such thing as an intentional punch. There is only Love in triathlon.

Think like a dolphin,


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