Has swimming in open water during a triathlon ever have you paralyzed with fear?
You’re not alone. It’s happened in both novice and experienced triathletes and it is something that you can improve. Besides mental training, here are five steps you can take that will help.
If you’re a runner and are getting started in triathlon, check out this article on Swimming for Runners.
Practice In Open Water Every Chance You Get
Get in some open water swim training with a group or a few friends. Even if it’s just playing in the lake or ocean during your family summer vacations, time in open water will help you become more comfortable and familiar with the feel.
Just remember to never swim alone.
Warm-Up Before Your Race
Even if you’re not planning on going out fast, warming up will help calm your nerves. The familiarity of your usual routine sets your mind at ease. Don’t just do a dry-land warm-up, get in a short warm-up swim, too.
Include Open Water Swim Drills In Your Pool Training
Sighting and bilateral breathing are necessary skills to know for open water swimming. No one knows what the conditions will be on race day, so be prepared to adjust to the water conditions and environment.
Some drills you can practice in the pool:
• Water polo drill
• Swimming without goggles
• Swimming with your eyes closed
• Swimming with others and drafting
Don’t Let Race Day Be The First Time You Swim In A Wetsuit
Get used to how it feels swimming with a wetsuit. There’s enough going on race morning, why have the added stress of a new wetsuit?
Where You Line Up On The Start Line Matters
Nervous about being swum over or pushed around? Start at the end of the pack where the other athletes will less likely be rushing to get in a good start position.
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