For any beginning triathletes out there, the prospect of taking on the legendary “swim/bike/run” challenge can be overwhelming. However if one of the three disciplines deserves any extra training, it is the swim.
Let’s start by talking about the basic science of consequences. If a cyclist grows tired of pedaling, he can simply coast. If a runner grows tired of running, she too can just walk. How ever if swimmers grow tired of swimming, they drown. There is no real “toned down” version of swimming, which is why having the strength, endurance and presence of mind to make it through the first third of the triathlon is a no-fail mission. For many, this is why the swim remains the most psychologically challenging of the three events as well. However with enough training and the presence of mind to respect the water instead of fearing it, coupled with the abundantly large lifeguard staff present at most events, prepared triathletes should take comfort in knowing that their swim will most likely be incident free.
Another reason why the swim is so important is the fact that it appears first. A good time in the water can give any triathlete a significant head start over the field. Even just an average time can be enough to put up a respectable overall time, since the swim seems to be the event with the largest talent discrepancy amongst participants. A solid performance here will pay dividends later.
But what about the non-competitive triathlete who is more concerned with just finishing than their finishing time? The water remains important for them as well, since a controlled and efficient stroke will result in them having more energy to distribute among the remaining 2/3rds of the race. If the first hour is spent thrashing around in the water instead of gliding smoothly through it, the energy expended will surely be missed in the back half of the race.
While no single triathlon discipline is easier than any other in terms of physical strength or endurance, the swim is most definitely the one that deserves more of your time. Feel like getting a swim in year round? Florida vacation rentals have a lot to offer all times of the year. Florida being the “sunshine state,” is great for outside adventures including swimming, parasailing, skydiving, sunbathing, theme parks, and golfing.