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Learn why every training plan should include brick workouts

Triathlon is an extensive physical competition that tests versatility in swimming, biking and running. Making brick workouts a part of your training can help you significantly improve your performance. A brick workout involves consecutive sessions of two triathlon activities, usually biking and running, in any order. This workout helps you develop the ability to complete one physical activity after another. It is an integral part of training for all training distances. Brick workouts help you prepare for swim-to-bike and bike-to-run transitions. Pro tip: test your nutrition and hydration plans during brick workouts and discover what works best for you.

Swim-to-bike

This is usually the first transition you make in a triathlon. When you pedal the bike after a period of swimming, the labor shifts from your arms to your legs, causing some discomfort. This discomfort is down to abruptly switching from a horizontal position while swimming to an upright position for cycling. So, for reducing the transition impact during the event, it is reasonable to do this brick.

If you are preparing for a Sprint or Super Sprint event, you can try a 200-300 m swim followed by cycling for 10- to 25-minutes. For Olympic distance, a swim session between 300 and 600 m with a 20-40 minute cycling period is ideal. Those prepping for Half Distance (70.3 mi) should aim to swim between 1000 m and 1500 m, along with 60 to 80 minutes of cycling. A brick session including 2000-2500 m of swimming and 145-210 minutes on the bike is suitable for Full Distance (140.6 mi) training. Make sure you have swim goggles that are just right for you.

Bike-to-run

It is probably the most common brick workout. It is also arguably the toughest because, after a period of biking, your legs feel heavy and are difficult to move. However, after getting a few brick sessions under your belt, your leg muscles shall start recovering well from the wear and tear of biking, letting you run easier.

For short distances like Super Sprint and Sprint, a 30- to 20-minute cycling session, followed by a 15-minute run is a good place to start. For Half and Full Distance triathlons, you can either cycle 60-80 mile & run for 20-30 minutes or cycle 30-60 mile & run for 45-90 minutes.

Run-to-bike

Although you are not likely to face a run-to-bike transition in a triathlon, this brick certainly helps you build endurance and stamina. This is especially useful for duathlons which include a run-to-bike transition followed by a final run.

A 10- to 20-minute run, in build-up to a 30- to 120-minute cycling session, is preferable for Olympic distance and less. In case you are training for anything beyond Olympic distance, a 20-minute run followed by cycling for 75 to 120 minutes is fairly competitive. Learn how you can refuel at gas stations for your longer bike rides.

What are the different triathlon distances? We cover the basics to help you choose the right one for you

A triathlon is a sports event that rewards your grit, stamina, and endurance. It is a comprehensive competition which includes swimming, cycling, and running. A triathlon is obviously challenging, but you can do well with proper training and a positive mentality.

When you hear triathlon, you might think of mass swims and endurance professionals racing in a full distance triathlon – Ironman – which involves a 2.4 mile swim and 112-mile bike ride before culminating in a 26.2 marathon run. It is a common misconception that is all triathlons can be.

In fact, there are many different triathlon distances, with most of them being very beginner-friendly.

An important factor that determines its difficulty is the distance to be covered. Knowing the distance implications of various triathlons helps you choose the right one for yourself and prepare for it accordingly. Let us look at different triathlon distances.

Super sprint

Super sprint triathlon is a shorter distance sprint triathlon. This distance event usually covers a total distance usually of about 8 miles (3 km). It is perfect for those who want a taste of what triathlon is all about.  The distance breakup can vary greatly in this distance but is usually is 300 to 500 m of swimming, 10 km (6.2 miles) of cycling, and 2-3 miles of running. Despite being considered a beginner’s triathlon because of the short distance, it can be just as tough for veterans that want to see their max speed. 

Sprint

For beginners who have some previous experience and want to take it up a notch, a sprint triathlon is a logical progression after a super sprint. This is one of the most popular distances for triathlons. This distance can vary greatly as well. So be sure to check the specifics when researching triathlons in your area. A sprint triathlon is usually about a total of 15-25 miles. An example of a sprint triathlon distance is a 500m Swim, 14.5 mile Bike, 5 Km Run.

Taking part in a sprint triathlon is a great way to check how your training is going when you are training for a longer distance. Participating in a sprint 6-4 months before an Olympic or Half Distance is a great way to practice and test your race tactics.

Standard/International/Quarter/ Olympic

The name gives away the increased difficulty that comes with this triathlon. This event distance took on the name Olympic after triathlon joined the Olympic Games in 2000. With an overall distance of around 32 miles (51.5 km), this triathlon requires you to exhibit a higher endurance level. It comprises 1500 m (0.9 mile) of swimming, 40 km (24.8 miles) of cycling, followed by 10 km (6.2 miles) of running. 

Training for an Olympic takes significantly more time and planning. There are usually race cut off times at these events, meaning knowing your pace is very important.

Half Distance/ 70.3

Half distance triathlons have become increasingly popular over the years. This 70.3 mile-long strenuous physical course involves covering 1930 m (1.2 miles) in water, 90 km (56 miles) on the bike, and 21 km (13.1 miles) on foot.

Racing a half distance is very obtainable with a structured training program. Half distances can take up to 8.5 hours to complete. Athletes racing in these longer distance events should also pay attention to on-course support and have a nutrition plan. A 70.3 distance is great for athletes that want to focus on endurance over speed. Just like with moving up from a sprint to Olympic, racing a half distance as part of your full distance training is a great idea.

Full Distance

If half distance is not enough for you, you can double the distance by participating in a full distance triathlon. This is commonly associated with the Ironman brand but there are tons of awesome events that offer a full distance triathlon. Covering 140.6 miles (a little over 226 km), a full iron triathlon is extremely tough, even for veterans. It requires you to swim for 3900 m (2.4 miles), cycle for 180 km (112 miles), and run for 42.2 km (26.2 miles).

Athletes racing the 140.6 distance should invest in more specialized equipment like a triathlon bike and potentially a wetsuit. The training regimen for a full distance is much longer and requires a dedicated schedule.

Ultra

From double triathlon to decuple triathlon, every version that exceeds full distance triathlon falls in the ultra category. These triathlons can stretch over a number of days. The most-demanding forms of triathlon fall in this group.

These distances can be seen as milestones for you to reach over your triathlon career. Choosing the most suitable distance, as per your ability and experience, can prove crucial to how you perform in the competition. Make sure to pick a distance that doesn’t push you too much and that you can enjoy it.

Infographic showing the different triathlon distance that are explained within the blog

Nutrition Guide for Every Tri Distance

Besides the difference of length, short and long-distance triathlons are also different in the impact they have on athletes’ nutritional needs. Learning how to fuel appropriately can make a massive difference in the experience you will have during your training journey and on race day. Keep reading our nutrition guide with tips for every triathlon distance you can use while you train and compete for your next triathlon. With nutrition, it is super important to not try anything new on race day since you don’t know how your body will react to it.

Sprint and Quarter

These are shorter distances where, in many cases, athletes can race without having to consume additional fueling, besides water.

Carbohydrates are Your Friend

ROCTANE Energy Gels.GU Energy

GU is our go-to when it comes to energy gels

However, if you are consuming calories during these events where you are performing at a higher intensity, it is helpful if those calories come from carbohydrates, as they will be easier for your body to utilize. Recommendations range between 30 to 45 grams of simple carbohydrates per each hour you are racing. Here is where gels, chews, and sports drinks come in handy. For example, energy gels usually have about 23g of carbohydrates, while chews contain around 25g per 6 pieces. With sports drinks, it is essential to choose drinks that are not low in sugar, to get over 20g of carbohydrates per 12 oz. These recommendations also apply during high-intensity training sessions.

Pre-Race Nutrition

Another factor to take into consideration is what you eat before the race. With this, there is no single formula or a recommendation that fits everyone. It’s best to find what works for you. A general rule to follow is to eat things that are easy to digest, such as plain waffles or toast. We recommend avoiding more complex foods like oatmeal, as they might be harder for your body to process. However, what matters is that you are eating something that makes you feel good.

Half Distance

The half distance is an event where you will undoubtedly be consuming additional fuel. Longer distances focus more on endurance rather than speed, so your nutritional needs are going to be different.

Nutrition During the Race

Some people have no problem consuming only gels or chews during longer events. But it’s common for athletes racing for longer periods to eat more complex foods. While you should still aim for 30 to 60 grams of carbohydrates per hour, it’s beneficial to get those from other sources besides just simple sugars. Things like granola bars can be very helpful for providing sustained energy without the sugar rush. They allow a steady utilization of fuel since they contain a mix of carbohydrates, protein, and fat. This can also help reduce stomach discomfort.

It is crucial to pay attention to your electrolyte intake. Especially when racing in the heat, because high amounts of electrolytes are lost with of sweat. Consuming electrolyte drinks, such as Nuun, is the easiest way to prevent dehydration.

Training Nutrition Plan

Your Nutrition Guide for Every Triathlon Distance

The main nutritional difference between short and long-distance triathlon training is the number of calories needed per day. Regardless of what you’re training for, it is essential for you to focus on recovery. Especially if you are used to having multiple workouts within a 24-hour time frame. Make sure to have meals of snacks that contain carbohydrates and protein after your workouts. This will ensure that your body can replenish the nutrients lost during training. Examples for recovery meals can be as simple as chocolate milk, a PB&J or a turkey sandwich or some cheese and crackers. Fruit with your favorite nut butter is also a good alternative. This will help you recover better for your next training session, and help you avoid burnout or injuries in the long-term.

With the help of this triathlon nutrition guide, you’ll be ready to rock whatever distance you choose to complete on the Kerrville Tri course.

Why Creating a Relay Team is The Best Way to Tri

Just when you thought Kerrville Tri couldn’t get any more fun, now you can make it a team effort! Recruit friends, family, or co-workers and create your relay team for Kerrville Triathlon’s 10th-anniversary celebration this September 26-27! The 10th annual tri takes place in the heart of the Texas Hill Country, Kerrville, Texas, with scenic views guaranteed. Relay teams can consist of two or three individuals to help you divide and conquer your upcoming tri while having a blast in the process!  Check out a few reasons why relay teams are a great way to get into triathlon and why you should create a team for this year’s Smokin’ Good Tri. 

Try something new

Maybe you know about triathlon, maybe you’re new to the scene. Perhaps you’ve cheered and supported friends at their triathlons, but you’ve never participated in one. Creating a relay team is the best way to get introduced to the sport! Everyone experiences pre-race nerves, especially if it is your first time ever completing a tri! That’s why building a relay team of two or three will help take some of the pressure off so you can focus on the fun. Split the tri three ways, or if your team has two members, one person does the swim, while the other person does the bike and the run. Depending on your individual skill levels, this can be accomplished in any combination. Train with your team, experience the highs and the lows, and get a taste of your new favorite sport.

The more the merrierThe more the merrier when you create a relay team

You can always get one friend to tri along with you, but why do that when you can triple the fun?! A three-person relay team is triple the action so, get two friends or co-workers to create your relay team.  Here are a few ways to take your team spirit to the next level during your training!

  • Create a sweet team name
  • Make custom gear to show your team spirit during training
  • Start thinking about what your team will wear on race day
  • Come up with a team motto
  • Have fun with it!

What feel is your team going for? Will your team opt for funny costumes for laughs out on the course? Or some matching outfits to show your fellow triathletes your team means business! With so many choices, your team will love this. And it’s a great way to really get you excited to keep working towards your goal.

You could use the help

Injuries happen. No matter what lengths you go to to stay safe during training, sometimes they just happen. But are you going to let that stop you from achieving your fitness goals? Not so fast! An injury that may prevent you from swimming might not stop you from cycling or running. creating a relay team for Kerrville Tri to test your boundaries during your team training sessions is a great way to stay active while continuing to strengthen your muscles! Just be sure you’re comfortable and aren’t in pain when training.  You never know, cross-training might just help speed up your recovery!

Making memories at Kerrville Tri with your relay team membersMaking memories

Create a relay team that brings your buddies back together to make some unbeatable memories. Get the old high school/college crew together. Make it a family affair and create an all-sibling team, or give the ‘rents a challenge you know they won’t be able to refuse! Take on a new challenge with your run group and create a relay team as a way to expand your fitness routine. Whatever direction you go, make this something you won’t soon forget. Participating with loved ones by your side and cheering you on, creating a relay team will make your Kerrville Tri experience unlike any other. 

Push Your Limits

Triathlon is a fun way to push your body’s limits, but we know making time to train for three sports can be difficult on top of everything else life throws your way. If you have a tight schedule and know you won’t be able to properly train for multiple disciplines, focus on one or two disciplines to push your limits! Find someone who swims like a fish in the water. Add a member who gets speeding tickets on their bike for going too fast. Pick a runner whose feet seem to never touch the ground because of their speed. Assemble this super team and hold each other accountable to keep up with training! Before you know it, you’ll be ready to show up on race day ready to set some new records or even take home 1st place!

Whatever your reason for creating a relay team, there are two things left to do: build your team to divide and conquer Kerrville Tri and register!

Avoid Bonking & Keep From Blowing Up

What is bonking? Bonking is when you run out of energy to complete your event. Like a car running out of gas 10 miles into a 20-mile trip. You have no fuel to continue. What is blowing up? Blowing up is starting way too fast or maintaining too high of a pace at different points of your event, which can lead to surpassing your lactate threshold & cramping causing you to stop or slow down. Like if you just put the pedal to the floor in your car and blow your gaskets or transmission. You still have plenty of fuel, but you broke other parts of your car. If you struggle with this, keep reading to learn how to avoid the bonk and prevent from blowing up. 

To keep it simple, here are the top tips to Avoid Bonking and Keep from Blowing Up

  1. Know Your Pace. Know what pace you are capable of holding for any period of time to avoid bonking. The idea is at the start of the event for the effort level to feel controlled and relatively easy. As you progress through the event, your effort level will increase to hold your pace. At the end of your event, the effort level will be extremely high to maintain your initial start pace. Even splits or negative splits are how you PR. 
  2. Know How to Fuel Properly. Know the calorie needs for the distance you are doing. If you are doing a short event (less than 45 minutes) you will not need anything more than water during your event. Your body will have enough energy from your previous night’s meal and your morning breakfast to get you through. Chances are on the shorter events you will be moving faster and having a bunch of food in your stomach is counterproductive to going fast.
  3. Know When to Refuel. If your event is longer than 45 minutes, this is when you need to start thinking about fueling for success. In general, depending on your height, weight, sport, and effort level, you will burn between 10 to 25 calories per minute. The goal is to time your calorie intake throughout your event so that you are just keeping the tank full enough to avoid bonking and running out of energy. Another rule is that you want to consume the calories before you need them. My rule of thumb is that I take in a few calories every 15 minutes starting at the 30-minute mark for any event over 1 hour. Remember you are balancing your intake with what was in your tank when you started. 

Things to consider per sport

  • Swimming. Swimming is not the ideal sport for taking in calories during a triathlon.  When you are completing a tri, you need to consider calorie-intake into account and be prepared to start fueling early on the bike to avoid bonking.
  • Avoid BonkingCycling. Cycling is built for fueling. You have bottle cages on your bike, the right choice in your race clothing will have pockets for holding gels and other forms of nutrition. There are also tons of other equipment you can add to your bike to pretty much carry as much as you want. One key is to use the aid stations on course so that you are not carrying too much. Why spend a ton of money on an 18-pound bike when you are going to carry 3 to 6 pounds of nutrition? Learning how to take a bottle hand up or even stop quickly at an aid station to make sure you have what you need is important and worth every second that you might think you are losing by just blowing by the aid station without refueling. Items we recommend consuming on the bike: water, fluids with calories, gels, chews, and bars.
  • Running. A good pocket in your run shorts, shirt, or a SpiBelt is perfect for holding a couple of gels for your run. A small handheld water bottle can also come in handy if you are needing a little water to wash down your gel or stay hydrated. Aid stations are also the key for runners. Knowing the frequency of the aid stations and what they will be supplied with before the event will help you come up with the proper nutrition plan on the run. Items I recommend consuming while running: water, fluids with calories, gels, and chews.

Tips To Avoid Bonking

To sum it up, what you need to do to avoid bonking is, know your body (pace),  know the event (what nutrition do they offer on course), have a plan to carry additional fuel, and then practice with different amounts and mixtures of nutrition at different paces until you have the perfect plan. This will all vary based on the type and length of your event, so be sure to use these tips during your Kerrville Tri training. After all, practice makes perfect!

Knowing the rules of the road is crucial to keep you and the rest of your squad safe

Follow these rules of the road every time you ride and to stay safe during your training for your upcoming triathlon!

9 must-know safety tips for your next ride

Stay safe during your training rides by knowing the rules of the road. Whether you’re riding to lunch with co-workers around the block or completing a long training ride for Kerrville Triathlon Festival, the following group riding guidelines will come in handy. Knowing these rules of the road will also make the ride more enjoyable and safer for everyone involved. Memorize these 9 Rules of the Road to cover your butt and keep you safe. 

Cycling Rules of the Road for your upcoming ride

  1. Complete a quick, pre-ride safety check.
  2. Obey all traffic laws. Here are a few examples: Yield to pedestrians, use the bike lane, use hand signals, and watch out for traffic lights! Just like in a car, the same rules apply when riding a bike.  Do not run red lights!
  3. Operate bike in such a manner as to not offend or endanger motorists, pedestrians, etc.
  4. Wear a helmet for safety (and be a good model for children).
  5. Activate all lights on bikes.
  6. Wear reflective gear that makes the group more visible, even in the daytime.
  7. Ride single file when you’re with others except in areas where it is safe to ride side-by-side.
  8. Avoid slowing down abruptly or making any other sudden moves.
  9. Ask experienced riders questions when you’re not sure what is occurring.

Important hand signals

On your left! You’ve probably experienced fellow cyclists shouting at you in efforts to get your attention on the road. But, hand signals, instead of words, are used to warn riders of potential danger on the roadway. Especially when riding in a pack, the only cyclist who has enough visual warning is the front cyclist. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the lead rider to warn the cyclists behind them. If the lead cyclist (or the cyclist in front of you):

  • shakes their hand to the right = there’s a pothole, branch, or some obstacle to the right
  • shakes their hand to the left = there’s an obstacle to the left
  • puts hand behind their posterior = follow right behind them as there might be obstacles on both sides
  • puts right hand down with the flat of the hand facing you = lead cyclist is slowing down or coming to a stop

It’s crucial to know these hand signals to keep yourself safe when riding alone to avoid a collision with another cyclist. Last but not least, being aware of your surroundings is essential to keep yourself safe during a ride. Be on the lookout and apply these rules of the road to keep yourself safe next time you go for a ride.

Let your troubles drift away with these quotes about life that are bound to boost your mood

As much as we may hate to admit it, we’ve all been in a funk where it’s difficult to feel inspired to keep going. With many daily obstacles to face, from stress at work to family, love, and overall success, it can be hard to find a balance. There comes a time when we all need a little extra boost of positivity to get back in the right mindset. That’s exactly what you’re gonna find with these mood-boosting quotes about life.

Life is full of unexpected twists and turns. Jot down a few of your favorite uplifting quotes or sayings for the next time you’re feeling down and need a quick pick-me-up! It’ll give you the perfect boost to get you back on track to achieving your goals. Pro Tip: These are also great quotes if you’ve hit a lull in your tri journey and need some motivation to get ready for some Kerrville Tri training. 

Loving every moment of Kerrville Tri throughout the years is easy, choosing our top 10 favorite photos was the tough part!

We have celebrated 9 Kerrville Triathlon Festivals over the years and have loved every second of it! From the scenic views of the Texas Hill Country to the pure enjoyment we see from our participants, volunteers, and spectators, we wanted to take a moment to share our top 10 favorite photos from Kerrville Tri.

  • You can count on our mascot, Buck, to congratulate you at the finish line festival!

  • Who wouldn’t love riding beneath this incredible blue sky?

  • Kerrville Tri participants eagerly waiting to dive into Nimitz Lake!

  • Killin’ it on the bike course!

  • Nerves or excitement? We think both!

  • Spectators showing love to all athletes is what we like to see!

  • Can’t rain on this parade!

  • Look at that form!

  • Team Radioactive is always bringing the fun energy to Kerrville Tri!

  • With a view like this, you’ll love every second you spend on the Kerrville Tri course.

Don’t dread the drive, check out our 7 favorite places you must visit between Austin and Kerrville for the road trip of a lifetime.

1. Pecan Street Brewing

Pecan Street Brewing 7 Places to Visit on Your Road Trip Between Austin and Kerrville

Inside Look: Pecan Street Brewing

Hardware store-turned-brewery, Pecan Street Brewing is a must-see. Located in Johnson City, Pecan Street Brewing is a local favorite hangout to grab a beer with friends! While you’re there, you have the option to enjoy a craft beer, brewed on-site, various craft cocktails, or Texas wines. Don’t forget to save room for their famous brick-oven pizza! On the weekends, this pet-friendly spot also features live music for passers-by to enjoy with new friends.

2. Shopping in Johnson City

While you’re in Johnson City, make your way down to Main Street and Nugent Ave. for some shopping! These locally owned stores offer everything from knick-knacks to fine art and antiques, so plan a day to relax and enjoy the shopping Johnson City has to offer!

3. Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park

Check out the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park to get a tour of LBJ’s childhood home and other cool exhibits about our 36th president. Located 14 miles down the road from the national park, the official state park is home to his ranch house, or the Texas White  House, that you can also take a tour of. The State Park also offers a free driving tour of all the grounds so be sure to stop by!

4. Official Luckenbach Texas General Store

View of General Store in Lukenbach. 7 Places to Visit on Your Road Trip Between Austin and Kerrville

Post-office-turned-Saloon

Don’t take it from us, take it from Willie Nelson! “Luckenbach, Texas” singer helped put Luckenbach on the map. While you’re there,  you can’t miss the Official Luckenbach Texas General Store in Fredricksburg. What locals used to call their post office and favorite bar, this Western-style saloon and general store is a must-see. Almost every night you can expect live music in the dance hall  Sit back with a beer and enjoy the music or show off some moves, you will love visiting one of the Hill Country’s most cherished spots!  

5. Jack and Adams Bicycles Fredricksburg

The second location of the bike shop that started it all with Jack’s Generic Tri in 2003! Stop by Jack and Adams Bicycle Fredricksburg to check out their impressive collection of every type of bike imaginable, and endless options of cycling gear. Get expert advice on anything and everything cycling during your visit, so be sure to drop by and say hi!

6. Woerner’s Warehouse Cafe + Catering

Once you’ve worked up an appetite from hitting the other spots on this guide, you have to stop at Woerners Warehouse Cafe + Catering in Fredricksburg for one of the tastiest sandwiches you’ll ever have made with all locally grown produce! Pair your sandwich or salad with their famous coffee or cocktails!

View from Enchanted Rock. 7 Places to Visit on Your Road Trip Between Austin and Kerrville

View from Enchanted Rock

7. Enchanted Rock

One of the best experiences you’ll have in the Texas Hill Country. Climb the pink granite dome to the top of Enchanted Rock for an unbeatable view of the hill country scenery. Spend the day walking the many trails around the park, then camp overnight for the opportunity to stargaze with an unobstructed view.

 

It’s never too early to start your planning! Make a vacation out of traveling to participate in Kerrville Tri, or The Rookie Tri out in Austin when you visit our top 7 favorite places between Kerrville and Austin.

Think you can skip training for the swim for your next tri? Not so fast!

You’re an ok swimmer so you don’t feel like you should allot a bunch of time training for the swim. Fast forward to the morning of your tri, add in race day elements – open water, other athletes, and no lanes to keep you in check – it’s no wonder why even seasoned triathletes may face panic during the swim. Know the importance of swim training with 5 reasons why you shouldn’t ignore swim training for your upcoming triathlon.5 Reasons You Shouldn't Ignore Your Swim Training

1. Helps Prevent Injury

Getting your body accustomed to handle the first leg of the tri is crucial. Swimming is a low-intensity, low-impact workout that will improve your overall flexibility, heart and lung capacity. Developing this during your training will prevent any unexpected incidents on race day. Train for the distance you are going to swim in your upcoming tri. Start slow and work your way up to this distance during your workouts. You can always slow down and take it easy on the bike and run legs, but during the intensity and commotion of the swim, your options are limited. For safety reasons, you cannot complete the race if you are unable to complete the swim portion. Therefore, you should practice floating on your back and practice a safety stroke as a backup plan if you start to feel tired or get frantic during the swim.

2. Avoid Swimming Further Than You Have To

5 Reasons You Shouldnt Ignore Your Swim Training

For those who have done most of your training in a pool, you are used to having a guide to keep you swimming in a straight line. If you don’t practice sighting during your training, you’ll most likely end up zig-zagging between the buoys, thus adding to the distance you have to swim on race morning. Don’t count on following the person in front of you. Sight regularly throughout the swim course to make sure you stay on the correct side of the buoys. Practicing sighting is key to avoid swimming off course during your tri.

3. Good Cardiovascular Activity

Swimming is a great aerobic exercise that will improve your cardiovascular fitness and overall health. It’s easy on your joints and is a perfect low-impact cardio exercise that can help reduce the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke. Choose a training plan that focuses on improving your swim technique to reserve your energy for the remaining legs of the race.  Also, establishing a good technique before the race will make you more efficient in the water on race day.

4. Strengthen Your Legs

Leg strength can make or break a race, so don’t make the mistake of neglecting leg work in the pool. If you haven’t spent much time in the water during your training, your legs may feel weak after completing the swim portion. To avoid feeling weak throughout the bike and run portion, use various swimming workouts to strengthen your legs during your training. The resistance from the water will strengthen your legs more than running or cycling alone. Incorporate kick sets into your swim training plan to ensure you have trained for your distance properly.  Pro tip: As you near the exit swim, start kicking your legs a little stronger to get the blood circulating into your legs again to prepare for the run into transition.

5. Calm Pre-Race Nerves

5 Reasons You Shouldn't Ignore Your Swim Training

Despite all your training, things can go awry when you factor in hundreds of other athletes into the mix. Nerves on race morning can get pretty overwhelming. Especially if this is your first triathlon. Even with a time trial start, swimming with so many people of all different skill levels can unnerve a highly skilled swimmer. You need to build your confidence in the water before the race. Most training takes place in a pool, but try joining a local tri club or a Masters Swimming Program to get the experience of swimming in open water with other athletes. Pro tip: Get out and do a mock swim so there are no surprises for your open-water swim.

It is common for athletes to dread the first discipline of a tri. Preparing for this during your training will eliminate any uncertainties you have before you dive into the swim start.  Whether you’re a novice swimmer or trying to go from a good swimmer to a great swimmer, training is key to a good performance on race day. So don’t hurt yourself by ignoring swim training for your upcoming tri! Grab your gear and head to the water.