Tri Swim Tuesday – Surviving a Pool Swim Triathlon

2 03 2010

The Location:  Angel’s Race 2008

Race Announcer:  “This is a RACE.  If you catch the person swimming in front of you, tap their toes and pass at the wall.  If someone touches your toes, let them pass.  I can promise you that if you don’t let them pass, they will swim over top of you. That is why we ask that you submit an accurate swim time.”

My friend: (quietly to me) “Is that supposed encourage me to let them pass?  Do you see some of these guys?  I”m totally letting them swim on top of me!”

Today’s swim lesson is all about the POOL SWIM triathlon.  Ask a group of experienced triathletes what they think of the pool swim and you will hear lots of cussing and swearing about passing, accurate swim times and cheaters that pad their start time to get in the water earlier.  Call me naive, but I won’t pad my time – I’m still putting the correct 100 swim time that I can sustain over 300 (if that is the distance of the race), that means that I will most likely have to pass folks that either a)put the fastest possible 100 time they ever swam,  b)fast bikers that don’t want to start later and have to pass a bunch of people on the bike, of c) people that just guess at their time and are WAY off.

How hard is it to get in the pool and do 3 x 100 and time yourself?  Give yourself only :10 rest in between each 100 so that you have an accurate time.  Please.  If you took the time to register and pay for the race you can take the time to submit an accurate swim time!

Now, onto pool swim tips.  For the beginner the very first thing you NEED to know (after of course the whole correct swim time thing) is to practice snake swimming.  This is what the snake swim will be like:

Choose a time when your pool is not very crowded and be a lane hog.  Take a few friends to snake swim with you, then you won’t feel guilty about taking up 4 lanes!  You might be saying to yourself, self, I swim laps in the pool every day, that’s no different than a snake swim.  Wrong.  Try doing a flip turn under the lane line for the first time – three words:  lane line rash.  Even if you are not flip turning , it’s a little disorienting to switch from lane to lane – practicing will help take that stress off race day.

Next tip:  BE ON TIME!  If you miss your swim start time (this will be posted at packet pick up the day before the race) you mess the timer up.  Please just line up 10 min. before your scheduled start.  Please!  (and no, you can’t switch your time on race day, refer to above comments about entering a correct 100 time when registering!!)

Final thoughts:  To flip or not to flip?  If you are not experienced and proficient at flip turning (and by that I mean you have practiced doing flip turns while changing lanes and can do it without hitting the lane line or missing the wall altogether) don’t do them for the race.  Do you really want to do that while all those people are watching?  I’m just say’n. If you are not flipping, the fastest route is to grab the wall in your current lane and push off under the lane line into the next lane and start swimming.

Now get out there and swim!

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One response

3 06 2012
Suellen Adams

I’ve done several pool swim triathlons. None of them allowed flip turns at all.

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