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Swimming Training For Triathlon

By Expert Author: Irving Mitchell

Good job! You have made a huge decision to try a tri. So what are the very first things you should master and focus on as you start triathlon training for the swimming portion of the event?

A lot of novice tri-athletes each year only start swim triathlon training a few weeks before the actual race, which, of course, is a huge mistake on their part. The very first piece of advice any tri-athlete should linger on is to start swimming triathlon training earlier. Several benefits will occur when you do swimming training for triathlon much earlier. The most obvious benefit will be that you will develop better stamina in the water portion of the big event. Far too many people have misconceptions that just because they are in good shape for running and cycling they are also in good shape for swimming. In reality, shifting from one discipline to another is very much different from anyone’s expectations. Basically, different muscles are used and swimming requires a very limited approach to oxygen intake. The level of anxiety every athlete incurs also plays a major role in the perception of fatigue as does that more common issue of stroke technique. Ahead of schedule, be sure to plan your swim training. Triathlon events are highly seasonal. If you are entering winter, you will most likely cut down on the amount of running and cycling you can do, so now is the perfect time to start your swimming training for triathlon.

When you start your swim training program, there are lots of points to keep in mind. The first is relaxation. Understandably, you may not be very comfortable in the water. You may even have bad memories of swim lessons. The swim portion of a triathlon is typically done in open water, along with other athletes. Keep in mind that you will be jostled, splashed, sometimes even dunked and shoved. If you aren’t totally comfortable in the water, if you feel like giving up when your face gets wet, then this sport is not for you. So when you begin your training, work on relaxation in the water. Jump in a pool and submerge yourself. Stay under the water as long as you can and look around a bit. Come up for air and go back down. If you feel a little anxious, think about happy thoughts or a pleasant place. Just relax.

Try swimming under the water a little bit. Though you won’t be swimming under water in the actual even, this drill will help decrease your anxiety level. Push off the wall and try to swim as far as you can under the water with your eyes open. Come up for air and go back down, gradually increasing the time you spend under water. Relax.

Lastly, go under the water and try to lie down on the bottom of the pool on your back and look up. Even if you had no problem with the first two suggestions, this step will cause some degree of difficulty. If you are new to swimming, it is highly advisable to do these three steps often, reminding yourself to loosen up all the while.

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