Hello IM Whistler Racers
We are 5 days away from getting our toes wet.
“Swimming is the worst part of triathlon, if you stop peddling on a bike you coast. If you stop running, you walk, but if you stop swimming you drown.”
I smiled a bit as I read this but in all fairness it is true, the swim can be the fear factor of triathlon. For us local athletes we do the majority of our swim training in the safety of a pool. The walls that surround us and lane ropes give us something to grab on to, the safety of being able to see and be seen and the security of the coach and lifeguards. In open water we lose the majority of those items that give us peace of mind. Myself being a lifelong swimmer both competitively and recreationally, my first open water swim was exciting and daunting all at the same time. I won’t say there is nothing to worry about; I truly believe no matter the level and experience of the swimmer we must always respect the water.
Below are a few tips to help us on race day:
- Survey the swim course, know the direction and buoys. Study the map and view the water and get a swim in if possible.
- Try and gauge what the sun angle will be on race morning. From this you can decide which goggles you prefer to wear.
- Sighting strategies, look for landmarks that you can sight. It will be crowded so having options available is a great comfort to have.
- Position yourself where you belong among your fellow competitors. This puts you amongst other swimmers of equivalent strengths and can provide you with a potential of drafting.
- Once the swim is underway there is no way to avoid contact with other swimmers. Be prepared and don’t panic. Try and stay calm and keep moving, after a few hundred meters the pack tends to lengthen out.
- If your goggles get knocked, take a little bit of time to adjust. It is a long swim and you will be more comfortable knowing you can see where you are going and avoid any extra distance.
- Ease into your race pace and make sure you are not holding your breath. This is not a swim race it is a swim followed by a bike and run. It’s best to avoid hitting anaerobic swims where you can have an oxygen debt for the balance of the race.
Just a few tips to consider as we approach race day.
As for the weather, we seem to be staring down a hot day. This needs to be taken into consideration as we mentally prepare and look at our fueling and hydration.