Welcome to the first triathlon news video. Today we’re going to cover a couple of things including what you can do to maintain the same pace in a triathlon, how you can best warm up for a triathlon so you don’t take a few hundred meters to get into it and we’re also going to look at what are some things you can do in training to improve your open water skills.

0:19 – How to Maintain Your Pace
1:12 – Should You Warm Up Before a Race
2:03 – Finding Your Legs
3:02 – Fun Ways to Practice Open Water Skills

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How to Maintain Your Pace

If you want to maintain your pace throughout a triathlon, then the best to do that is to have a constant speed with your technique and your stroke. What I mean by that is I see a lot of swimmers overgliding in their stroke.  So they’ll extend a little too far out the front, which means that with their stroke they’re going slow  and then fast as they glide and then slow and then fast. That’s not maintaining a constant speed with their stroke. So if you want to maintain a constant speed, you keep a nice evenly balanced technique and stroke.

That way you can maintain your pace throughout a triathlon much easier than if you’re going fast and then slow with your stroke. We show a few good examples of these in the Open Water Mastery Program and in the Mastering Freestyle Technique Program where rather than over gliding with your stroke if you keep it nice and balanced with your rotation, then you’ll probably find that your stroke feels a whole lot easy to do and maintain for a longer period of time.

Should You Warm Up Before a Race?

Have you ever found that when you get to a triathlon and you get into the swim, that it usually takes a couple hundred meters to warm up and get into it? And by that time you might have dropped off the pace?

One of the best things that I’ve found to do is to do a land-based warm up if you can’t get into the water but if you can get into the water then if you can do a couple hundred meters, between 6-8 hundred meters, just to get your stroke feeling good get your body warmed up get the blood flowing. You’ll probably find that you’ve got a lot more energy at the start of the swim. You can get out there faster. If you’re not doing any warm up before you get into a race then it takes a good couple hundred meters to get started. By that time that can already have lost you the race. So if you can’t get into the water, do a land-based warm up with some running, a couple of push ups, squats, jumps, those sorts of things just to get the body ready to perform and to get out there and race.

Finding Your Legs

When you finish your swim and you’re running out of the water, it can take a little bit of time to get your legs used to being back on land. The first couple of strides out of the water, just slow it down if you need to find your feet and then you can get into it. Cause there’s nothing worse than running out as fast as you can, losing your feet and falling over and then needing to start again. So just bring it back a little bit, find your feet and then you can get into it.

Keeping Warm In Cold Water

Now if you like me, being in the colder part of the world where the water isn’t very warm then there’s a few things you can do to stay warm in the water. If you haven’t got a wetsuit on then one of the best things you can do is to use Vaseline and to put it on your chest, under your arms, on the back of your neck, in the places where you lose heat the fastest and that will help insulate you and keep your body warm for when you’re in the water. Another thing you can do is to do a land-based warm up before you get in so you get your heart rate up and you just get the blood flowing. That way the body’s is ready to get going once you jump in the water and the blood is flowing and you can stay warmer for a longer period of time.

Fun Ways to Practice Open Water Skills

Now it’s good to keep your training interesting and to mix things up. So there’s a few things you can do in training to practice your open water skills, to keep your training fun and just to change it up from your normal day to day follow the black line type of frame.

Some things we tend to do in training we’ll go on each others’ feet, so for example we might do a 30×50’s, where there’s 3 people in a group and the first person will go at 90%, and the 2 people behind will leave right on their feet but they’ll go around 80 % so they’ll go a little bit easier. And the person at the front is working hard, the other 2 are keeping up because they’re sitting in the other person’s draft. It’s a good way to practice drafting skills and get a feel for how much energy you can save if you’re drafting correctly. So that’s a good thing to practice drafting.

Another thing you can do is to practice your sighting by looking up every couple of strokes. So you might say every 10 strokes you take in a siding at the end wall and it’s just a good way to get used to that kind of rhythm and get used to spotting yourself in the water.

And another thing that we like to do as well is if you’ve got quite a few of you in training, is you get half of you to get a kickboard and line up on either side of the lane and then the other half of you start at one end and you swim through individually, while the swimmers on the outside of the lanes have got the kickboards and they’re splashing water at you. They’re making waves and they’re being a little bit rough with you. Just to get you used to that rough and tumble of being in a triathlon race. That’s a good fun one. You’ve got to be careful depending on who’s in there but if you’re pretty confident with your swimming and you know each other quite well, then that’s a very good way to get used to some choppy water and battling with other people in the water.

If you’re already a part of our triathlon email newsletter and you’re not part of our overall swimming newsletter then you can join that on the right hand side of this website. So just put in your email address and you’ll also get those once a week where we give you out swimming tips not specific to triathlon swimming but they’re general swimming tips which will help you with your swimming. So you can sign up for those on the right hand side of the website.

Thanks for watching this week. Looking forward to seeing you in 2 weeks time because these are fortnightly videos and we’ll see you then with some more triathlon tips.

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Brenton and Mitch were great to work with at the clinic, Good to get video analysis to work on straight away, practice some new drills and go home knowing what you need to work on.

Alex McFadyen