"Top 5 Triathlon Swimming Problems And What You Can Do About It"
Let’s face it.
An open water triathlon swim can be a bit uncomfortable.
Whether it’s the large crowds of people pushing or elbowing on the beach or in the water for precious space, the physical adrenaline rush of the race start, or simply the fact that swimming is potentially the most “dangerous” part of a triathlon, swimming problems are something every triathlete has to deal with.
Heck, I’ve personally been racing triathlons for nearly ten years, and I still get nervous before mass triathlon swim starts - not to mention a little apprehensive about what type of open water conditions I might experience. I’ve spoken with many experienced professional triathletes who still have occasional “panic attacks” during the swim, in which they simply need to stop swimming for a little while, tread water, and catch their breath and their nerves.
There are 5 primary problems that tend to be issues during the triathlon swim. So here they are, along with what you can do about each one.
2) Cold Water
Ideally, you should know weeks or months before a race that the water will be cold, and if this is the case, you can condition your body with cold showers, cold baths and swims in cold water. The more cold exposure you can get, the less the cold water will bother you or cause you to be “breathless”.
It can sometimes be more energetically demanding to warm-up in cold water before a race, so I often resort to the dry-land warm-up I described above if the water will be cold, rather than warming up in the water. And remember - you should have also already warmed up for the run, and if transition area allows for it, the bike too – so you’ll be plenty warm by the time you actually get into the water.
In addition to a full sleeve wetsuit, you can also stay slightly warmer with a neoprene swim cap and booties (and some races even allow gloves, but ask first).
Click here for Tip #1
Stay tuned for more tips from Coach Ben Greenfield