Triathlon is considered one of the most challenging and hardest survival competitions for multi-sports. The event includes with swimming, cycling and running. All the three activities should be done uninterrupted with diverse distances and time transitions among the three. Swimming is a key component of triathlon. Conserving as much energy as possible should be the primary concern of any triathlete during the training or in the event itself. They need to save energy for long swims. It’s imperative for swimmers to pay a curious attention for their swimming training particularly.
Triathlon swimming is too technical and it needs more focus than the other two triathlon disciplines cycling and running. Cycling and running are the two which we’ve been practiced since our childhood and they become natural for us. The extend practice of these two manners makes it easier for us to go on. However, swimming is relatively new if you are not practicing it since childhood.
Triathlon swimming is wholly different than diving in the pools, lakes or rivers as it needs special concentration to swimming techniques. If you are looking to participate in triathlon then I now is the time to start learning proper front crawl, swimming lengths and to begin with the proper training. If you are not a regular swimmer then you have to effort a lot in order to not be out of your breath after doing a couple of lengths. Your body should not be tensed and your arms should not be tired quickly. You have to practice hard for that. Though, idea of nonstop swimming for 750 or 1500 meters seems a Herculean task but it’s possible with the proper techniques and training.
It’s better to consider earlier that you are in need of a personal coach at least a personal swimming coach. The idea of having a coach is worthy for a triathlete as the coach is professional and talented to mark your weak points at the spot before you get used to them. A good trainer is going to identify the areas that need to focus on in the beginning.
The key point of above talk is that don’t let your fears and nervousness deter you from participating in one of the best sport opportunities. All you need is motivation, aim, perfect mentor cum coach and proper training for the event of your life.
3 Tremendous Tips for Triathlon Training
Here are three tremendous tips for the beginners in order to start their triathlon journey:
Plan Ahead to Drive Results:
In the beginning the only important task is to arrange all the items that you need to start your training that is included with a good swim suit, goggles and a swim cap. For cycling you need a bike that suits you, comfortable bike shorts and a bike helmet for races. In order to run safely and easily, you must have a perfect pair of running shoes and the other important item is a water bottle to keep you hydrated throughout the training. Do not overlook the need of a water bottle as it’s the most important tool to keep fluid level in your system.
Train yourself Better:
Set positive, practical, realistic and achievable tasks for your training. When you achieve a target then set another with a little more difficulty and intensity. The targets will keep your training on the right track and will motivate you for further training. Hiring a coach for the training is also a good option. A coach will assist you throughout the training in a professional way and encourage you to do better.
Combine Additional Workouts:
It’s recommendable for you to merge other workouts with triathlon training. Usually a triathlete thinks that there is no need of other exercises when you are functioning with a number of aerobics. However, it’s important to seek for body building, stretching and core exercises to develop your strength, flexibility and muscles mass. Body building develops overall muscles. Stretching exercises prevent you from muscle strains, tightening and spasms. Core strength assists in balancing the body for any sport or regular tasks.
Tips for swimming in cold water (or heat)
There is nothing more unpleasant than being uncomfortable during a long ride, swim, or run. Even the slightest annoyance be it cold fingers, a nagging blister, or a growling stomach can zap all your motivation and ruin your workout. Since I am so lean (3% body fat) coupled with poor circulation, trying to train in the cold is the worst. The good news though is that this is easily solved with proper preparation and some foresight. However, if I over prepare, I end up becoming too hot and sweaty, which is equally unpleasant.
Below, I have compiled a group of my temperature guidelines and weather tips that I follow to get me through any workout purple finger free and warm but not sweltering. In the first part of this three part series, I will talk about how to properly prepare for the swim both in and out of the pool.
Usually, most pools are between 78-85 degrees depending on if it is inside or out, heated, or used for competition versus recreational uses. Many swimmers are quite comfortable in this range with just a basic suit and a swim cap. If you get hot, then nix the cap. At some pools, especially ones that offer aqua-aerobics classes and cater to an older crowd, the temperature can be between 85 and 95. In these rare instances, make sure you hydrate very well before and during your workouts to prevent overheating and dehydration. It is hard to gauge sweat loss in the pool, so drink to thirst. This will keep your body cool and functioning properly as you reel off those hard intervals.
If you are like me and get uncomfortable with anything underneath hot tub level, then you may want adapt some open water swim tips like wearing a neoprene cap or double capping at least until I warm up. I also do a good, dry land warm up consisting of jumping jacks, a resistance circuit of bands, crunches/core work, med ball throws, and/or plyometrics, before getting in so my body is already warm and the cool water feels refreshing instead of unpleasant.
On occasion, the pool can dip below 70 degrees like when the heater breaks, a coach goes insane and wants to torture swimmers (it’s happened), or if the pool is outside and is unheated. In these situations, break out the wet suit. Also, keep moving and limit your time hanging onto the wall. Of course, a mug of hot chocolate is essential for when you hop or sprint out.
Open water swims are a different matter, and I opt for a wet suit more often than not. If the temperature is between 70-74°, I usually wear a sleeveless one while anything underneath 70 requires me to go full sleeved. (Note that in USAT and WTC races, when the temperature is above 76, age groupers who are aiming for the podium, cannot wear a wetsuit. Check with the race organizers or the USAT website for specific rules). Swimming in cold water presents some different challenges. If you plan on swimming in even colder temperatures, you may want to consider not only a long sleeve wet suit but also a thicker one. Other considerations include, wearing neoprene booties and gloves.
As you swim more in varying pools and open body of waters, you will get a good feel for what you specifically need in each temperature range. Next week I will discuss cycling with all of its many intricacies and tricks to keep you cycling through out the year and in all conditions, so stay tuned.
Have a great week of training!