If you are aiming to make some performance gains, it’s a good idea to start right at the top with the swim!  A lot of triathletes think about swim training the same way they think about eating healthy – yes, we guess it’s good for us…but could we not? If you feel the swim is just that inconvenience you go through before you can get your race started, fret not, here’s some tips to help you

1. It’s All in the Mind

Our attitude towards things affects how much we get out of them.  Instead of doing just enough training to get to the end of the swim in one piece, commit to making swim training a priority.  Think about the swim leg in terms of how much time you stand to gain if you improve, rather than how much time you are going to lose.

2. No Open Water?  No Problem!

I know, East Coast Park and Sentosa aren’t exactly open water swimming meccas.  However, that’s no excuse to give up on your swim, especially when there are about ten thousand (actual number not fact checked) swimming pools in Singapore.  

Swimming is swimming, no matter the body of water it’s taking place in.  Your body won’t know the difference so get those laps in and watch your swim fitness go through the roof.

3. Be Adaptable 

While those sneaky waves and currents sure can make open water swimming a little challenging, think of it as more fun than following a black line up and down the pool.  

The swimming pool is a great place to build your fitness, work on your stroke and get comfortable in the water.  When you’re in the open water, hold on to those swimming fundamentals but don’t be afraid to change things up.  You might have to shorten up your stroke to get through some choppy conditions or breathe on the other side to avoid having the sun in your eyes.  Whatever it may be, stay relaxed and go with it.

4. Get Some Advice

Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or a newbie, we are always learning in this sport.  If you grew up splashing around in bathtubs and swimming pools, having to race in the sea or ocean can seem slightly daunting.  It’s a good idea to work with a swim coach to lock in those swimming fundamentals and keep an eye out for open water clinics.  Guided open water sessions are an invaluable resource for you to get time in the water with some friendly faces and pick the brain of experienced coaches.

Open water swimming can often be a stumbling block for many triathletes but it doesn’t have to be.  Embrace the challenge of dealing with the different conditions that the ocean may present you.  Also, open water training is just a great reason to hang out at the beach with your friends.  And if that sounds good to you, it’s going to feel even better getting to T1 in your next race knowing you just crushed the swim! 


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