Race your best
PICK YOUR SPOT
“At the start, position yourself depending on how strong a swimmer you are,” says Rooke. “Faster swimmers should be at the front looking for the shortest line to the first turn buoy. Weaker swimmers should stay at the back and wait until they have a better chance of having a good, comfortable start.” Remember, getting swum over and dunked will probably more than cancel out the few seconds you’ll gain by leading the pack.
SET YOUR SIGHTS
Sighting, or following the buoys to stay on course, is just as important as technique so practise it ahead of time. In calm water, like a lake or river, aim to just lift your eyes out of the water, pressing slightly down in the “catch” of your stroke and arching your back to minimise drag. Sight every other stroke for two or three strokes – first to look for the buoy, then to adjust your angle. Repeat after 30 seconds.
KEEP YOUR COOL
“It’s very easy to start at high intensity,” says Rooke. “Unless you can keep that pace up for the entirety of the swim race, I’d suggest finding a good rhythm early and holding that pace. Just before exiting the water, increase your leg kick – this will increase blood flow to your extremities, reducing the dizzy feeling you may get when going from a horizontal position to a vertical one quickly. Practise this in training just like any other part of the race.”