Triathlon is a very challenging race which is divided into 3 successive stages – swimming, cycling and running. The distance for each stage varies in different countries. In Olympic, swimming distance is 1,5km, cycling distance is 40km and running distance is 10km. Are those numbers impressed you? Not yet? So, in the world toughest triathlon race, the swimming distance 3,9km, cycling distance is 180km and running distance is 42,2km! Ignoring your opponents, you are also a big opponent in this race. However, there are still some small races for novice triathletes to try such as the Novice in Australia, with the distances as follow: 300m (swimming), 8km(cycling) and 2km(running).
And swimming is not only the first challenge but also the toughest section that you must overcome. And for the novice triathletes, swimming is a huge problem.
In case you’ve just learnt swimming and you are not confident in water, especially the water in nature such as river, lake, sea…, you should participate right away in a local swimming club or you can learn the right swimming movements on the Internet.
As we all know, swimming is a lonely sport, you are on your own, you don’t have to contact with anyone, but you. In order to defeat your opponents, you must master your swimming technique instead of learning about your opponents just like some other sports such as baseball, football, etc. So, the more accurate your swimming technique is, the faster and the less tired you are. However, there are still 2 remaining stages that you must overcome, so the speed is less important than energy saving.
Your training progress should be slow and consistent. There’s no need to rush. You should begin training with short distances and have an appropriate recovery tactics between them. It will be safer if you start small and increase your distances slowly or you can be injured due to overdose.
It’s awesome that the time for you to get confident in water doesn’t take long. It’s just about two or three weeks.
You should learn swimming in a pool with an appropriate depth so you can stand when you are too tired.
So now is the specific tactic:
By the end of each week, your maximum swimming distance should increase 10% until you can swim further than your race distance at least 10%. For example, if the distance of your triathlon is 1km, you must swim at least 1,1km.
A tips for you to have gain benefits among other opponents:
Most of other opponents swimming training doesn’t have strength & conditioning work as well as no interval training. So ask your coach to add them up in your training program. I’m sure that you will become a tough swimming competitor.
When you get familiar with the distance, it’s the time for you to challenge yourself in open water. You will need a swimming condition similar to your real triathlon swimming condition. Please keep in mind that swimming in a river, there’s always have a flow; swimming in the sea, your swimming will consult less energy due to the leverage of the salty water.
In addition, when you swim in open water, your navigation skills will be improved. In a pool, there’s always a string, the lanes, the black line… but you won’t find them in open water.
In summary, no pain no gain. You should start training right away and develop yourself a good strategy to swim faster and consume less energy.
I hope this guide could give you an edge and help you win your upcoming triathlon race, the game of iron wills.