Finding the right balance of speed and endurance in your triathlon swim can be tricky. Until you have done enough events to get a feel for the swim portion, you will have to use some trial and error. The time spent in the pool can give you some clue, but until you get out on the open water you really don’t know.
When you get into the open water for the swim portion of the race you will face factors that are not an issue in the pool. You may face waves, which are going to make breathing a little more difficult or currents that will push you off course. And you will face having to cope with a crowd of people jockeying for position in the water.
These two factors are in addition to learning how to pace yourself so you are not out of steam before you get out of the water. You want to have a strong swim but you do not want to use up all of your energy before you get on the bike.
While training in the pool you might want to try to simulate a race at the distance of your upcoming event. This is one way to judge how you will respond to the event. You do not have to swim at what you think is your race pace; just go a little faster than you normally swim.
Pay attention to when you start to tire, you can use this info to know how to adjust your pace. Keep in mind that on race day your adrenalin level will be up and it can take a while to get in a groove.
If at all possible try to swim in the ocean or lake depending on where your race will be. Getting used to the water temperature, the waves and current will help you mentally when you do your race. Becoming familiar with the environment brings a level of comfort so you do not feel completely out of place.
Once the crowd starts to thin out at the start, let yourself get into a comfortable pace that you know will help you conserve energy. Keep a steady pace and when you are past the half way mark you can pick it up some if you feel up to it. When you get out of the water you should feel tired but not completely worn out.
If you are new to triathlons don’t expect to pick up all of this in your first race. It takes time to learn to train and how to pace yourself. All of this comes with experience so do not get disappointed in the beginning.
Swimming seems to be most people’s biggest obstacle when training for the event and during the race. Learning how to overcome any problems you may have will be a great benefit to you. To learn more check out triathlon swim workouts for more information.