(They have some great training events and workshops for all levels of triathletes)
Here's a few things I've learned...
1. Swimming in a "triathlon wetsuit" is a must
My first swim was SO last minute that I rented a quick wetsuit from Sports Chalet and my only option was a scuba wetsuit. It felt like I was fighting the wetsuit the whole time while I was swimming because I couldn't lift my hands above my shoulders. Triathlon wetsuits are different than scuba wetsuits because they're more flexible in the shoulder area so that you can actually move your arms above your head for freestyle swimming. How was I supposed to know? That was my first event ever.
I've since learned my lesson & upgraded to a real traithlon wetsuit.
WORLD OF DIFFERENCE.
2. Acclimate to water before race start
This is huge. You have to get in the water before the race starts (freezing cold shock to body) and then physically pull your wetsuit away from your chest to let the water in. The water between your wetsuit & body will heat up and keep you warm.... but initially it's the coldest shock ever. You also HAVE to put your face in the water. For a different alternative you can dump some warm water down your wetsuit before you get in, just be careful not to pull a Channing Tatum who dumped scalding water down his wetsuit which burned "the goods".
3. Start with 20% less effort
With adrenaline rushing and nerves racing it's common to start out too fast and then you burn out. If you start out with 20% less effort than you think you could give, chances are you'll be at the right pace.
It's a hugely different atmostphere swimming open water with a group... let alone a race. You have to spot where you're going, keep an eye out for people around you, breathe, remember your fundamentals... and most importantly RELAX. A little tip we got at the clinic was to LITERALLY think to yourself as you're taking your swim stroke on the right "RE" and then with the swim stroke on the left "LAX". It sounds a little cheesy but you'd be surprised how much it helps!
I have to say I felt a million times better this open water swim than the last one and I even swam 800 meters at the end which is the same distance as the swim for the Iron Girl!
Sooo much of physical fitness is more mental than it is physical
and swimming is definitely no exception.
The rest of our weekend was filled with lots of Easter fun...
Here's a preview of the little "PG-13" Easter hunt I left for Grant
around our house Sunday morning...
Here's a picture of what the Easter Bunny left for him in the kitchen...
Here's his little Easter basket filled with a few of his favorite things...