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The Swim Leg in Triathlon – “It’s not important”

Wrong. So little emphasis is put on the swim leg in a triathlon by so many triathletes these days, especially the long course/endurance competitors. The swim leg is extremely important.

How many times have you done a massive bike or run set, absolutely busted yourself, collapsed after it and just wanted to lie there and not move. A lot of us have been there. We do get up though, we have our favourite recovery food/drink and we get on with the day, work, housework, gardening, etc. you’re tired, but you can still function. Swimming – it’s a whole different story. After a big swim session, day-to-day functioning just doesn’t happen, all you want to do is sleep all day. This just shows the impact that swimming has on our energy levels.

One of the best feelings in a triathlon is running down the chute to T1 feeling fresh and not being out of breath, reduced to a shuffle thinking ‘I’ve got to ride now’. Half way through the bike leg and you’re still trying to get your breathing under control. All because you didn’t place enough importance on your swim training.

Yes it is the shortest of all the legs, but the swim should be given the respect it deserves. You don’t need to add extra sessions in. Just make the swim sessions that you’re doing, count. Quality over quantity. Do that and you will set yourself up for a great race. As the old saying goes ‘You can’t win it in the swim, but you can loose it’.

Happy and safe triathlon adventures,
Coach Ben