Triathlon Magazine Canada - - SWIM BIKE RUN TRANSITION - BY CLINT LIEN

Are you think­ing about mov­ing into the big kids sand­box? I’m talk­ing about go­ing from the half- to the full-dis­tance.

The anx­i­ety around mak­ing that de­ci­sion is usu­ally based on the ex­tra 90 km of rid­ing and 21 km of run­ning that goes with it. Of­ten the last con­sid­er­a­tion is the ex­tra 1,900 m of swim­ming.

If you’re plan­ning on mov­ing up from a stan­dard-dis­tance race to a half, you’re look­ing at an ex­tra 400 m on race day. Most age-group triath­letes reg­u­larly com­plete 2,000 to 3,000 m per ses­sion sev­eral times a week. They swim in ex­cess of their ac­tual race dis­tance nearly ev­ery time they get in the pool. The ex­tra 400 m isn’t a pro­found in­crease, es­pe­cially com­pared to the huge gap be­tween 1,900 and 3,800 m.

Pre­pare prop­erly

You should never go into the event think­ing ‘I’ll just get through the swim and once I’m on the bike all things will be right and true in the world.’

Com­ing out of the wa­ter after swim­ming 3,800 m you weren’t prop­erly pre­pared for can have a dra­matic ef­fect on the rest of your day. And not in a good way.

Once you make the de­ci­sion to go the ex­tra “mile,” be pre­pared to get in a healthy dose of 4,000 to 5,000 m ses­sions. You should also bring up the weekly av­er­age so that, in the 12 weeks prior to race day, you are av­er­ag­ing at least 3,200 m per set, at least three times a week. And re­mem­ber, while swim­ming faster is cer­tainly a good thing, for most full-dis­tance swim­mers the goal is to have lots of en­durance strength.

And what gives you that en­durance strength? Me­tres. Lots of me­tres. With pad­dles, para­chutes, with a band on your an­kles. And then you should swim more me­tres.

Are you swim­ming less then 8,000 m a week? Are you do­ing any days where you’re hit­ting at least 4,000 m? Find­ing the time can be a chal­lenge, but most peo­ple can or­ga­nize them­selves to get in a few min­utes early and leave a few min­utes late and add 10 to 20 per cent to their av­er­age without caus­ing a rip­ple in their daily lives. But get­ting in those weekly big days can of­ten re­quire some de­ter­mi­na­tion. For a slower swim­mer that can mean 90 min­utes or more in the pool. If your mas­ter’s swim group only swims an hour, three times a week, then you’ll need to get in more than a few ex­tra min­utes. Some­times the best so­lu­tion is to add an ex­tra day to your group sched­ule. This gives you the added ben­e­fit of be­ing able to fo­cus ex­clu­sively on your strength en­durance.

The fol­low­ing is a great strength set. You’ll need pad­dles of sev­eral dif­fer­ent sizes.

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