Beginner Swimmers: Don’t Make This Mistake
Learning to swim well can be quite challenging as it is a technical skill. To a certain extent with other sports such as cycling and running improvements can be made simply by exerting more effort. But this approach backfires when applied to swimming. To swim more efficiently is not a matter of trying harder. Instead, swimming more efficiently (faster and with less effort) is about reducing the natural resistance of moving through the water. It takes technique.
The number one mistake beginner swimmers make is to swim “X” number of laps or for “Y” amount of time. The mindset around this type of training is understandable. You're concerned about maximizing your time in the water. Unfortunately, there are more drawbacks to this type of training than there are benefits.
Should the athlete be able to complete the distance of their intended race prior to race day? Of course!...
Many athletes are faced with the dilemma of training for an open water swim when they only have access to training in a pool. Either they live in an area with no ocean, lakes, or rivers that are swimmable or they are training for an early season race where the water temperatures for swimming in open water are simply too cold.
Get to the race a day or two early
If possible, get to the race site one or two days early and then go for a swim in the same body of water as the race and at the same. This way you’ll experience the most similar conditions as possible. Make note of the position of the sun to see if it will be directly in your line of sight limiting as most races begin at the break of dawn.
5 ways to use the pool
1. Same direction at the same time
Swim with a friend or better yet two in the same lane and have everyone swim together at the same time (not swimming circle as you might normally do). Having two...
Awhile back I was on a long run and as I neared the end and was battling the fatigue which typically occurs at the end of long runs, I experienced a light bulb moment. Whenever we are expanding our aerobic fitness, which is pretty much the point of a long run, there comes the moment when fatigue sets in to the point that we mentally and physically breakdown. While we typically don’t have a full breakdown there is almost always degradation, the degree to which can vary greatly depending on the athlete as well as the conditions of the run.
How much breakdown occurs is not the point. The point is regardless of the degree of breakdown, when fatigue sets in this creates a fantastic opportunity to work on and develop some key skills that will improve your racing whether it be in longer running races or triathlons of any distance. Triathlon running is essentially running fatigued due to the swimming and biking that precede it. Our tired long run form...
This past weekend I was at Ironman North Carolina & 70.3 with Team In Training, where I had the great fortune to coach 23 athletes. In the past month I've been priviledged to attend three Ironman events cheering on 49 athletes. I was in Madison, WI with Stoke Multisport and Louisville, KY and Wilmington, NC with Team In Training.
I've left each weekend feeling more inpsired and passionate about triathlon and life primarily because being on the course to witness athletes dig deep pushing themselves to their limit is incredibly powerful.
For all the athletes who were at these races or for anyone who's raced recently, I would ask you to take a moment and reflect on your race. What lessons did you learn or have reinforced that you can carry with you? How can your race experience serve you moving forward? What did you do well in your race? Too often we focus on what didn't go well. Regardless if you had the best race of your life or a...
Always Be Your Own Biggest Fan
My good friend Rose recently emailed me with her Six-Word lesson, “Be Your Own Biggest Fan.” Rose recently read my book and suggested this lesson for volume II. Here’s a little background on Rose’s sage advice. Several years ago we were up in Penticton for Ironman and listened to pro triathlete Lisa Bentley give a talk on how to stay motivated during such a long and mentally challenging race.
Rose recalls Lisa saying something to the effect of, “The day is long and things will not always go your way, and so you have to become your own biggest fan on the course. That you have to believe you can keep going, that being your own biggest fan keeps the cheerleader louder than the doubter.” Louder than the doubter! I love that. I might make it my new mantra. Thanks Rose and thanks Lisa!
I have several athletes that I coach that are about to take on Ironman Wisconsin in a...
The First Lessons of Triathlon
1. Dude, don’t take yourself so seriously
2. Engage in your training with seriousness
When I wrote my recently released book, “Six-Word Lessons for Successful Triathletes: 100 Lessons for Essential Training and Racing” I positioned these two lessons at the very beginning of the book because I wanted to remind people that triathlon should exist in our lives to enhance the experience of living and that it should not become our life. I’ve seen too many people take their training and racing so serious that they literally lose friends and destroy relationships.
At first glance it may seem that these two lessons contradict each other when in fact they work in concert with each other. Each workout you do should have a purpose. Sometimes the purpose is simply enjoyment of the activity and sometimes it’s merely...