Swimming in the open water can be an incredibly enjoyable, almost spiritual experience. But for some, just the thought brings very legitimate fears. If you can learn to manage your fear and break the swim into manageable sections, soon you too will start to love open water swimming.
Sarah began swimming competitively at 7 years old and she was always very good in the water. Being generally athletic she was an active child. Though, as with all of us, one day you’re playing kickball and pick up football then all of a sudden you’re 40! But Sarah Zirkle is not your average woman. From high school swimmer to Kona qualifier, this is how our own Minnesota Triathlete, Sarah Zirkle, reflects on her past events before Kona.
You are excited, you have made the decision to sign up for Ironman. It is one click away…just one easy click. BUT before you hit “ACCEPT”, read through the following list for a few final thoughts. Not all of these have to be completed before you hit the enter button, but it is the short list of things to keep in mind.
This time of year, I see many athletes consuming electrolytes, energy bars, gels prior to a workout. The question is - are they really necessary for every workout? I say "NO". Of course, there are always exceptions to this rule, but these are my thoughts/professional opinions:
As triathletes, we spend a LOT of time running, biking and swimming but often miss out on a few other extremely important details that directly impact on performance. Of course, nutrition and sleep play a HUGE role in performance, strength is another component that shouldn't be left out of training. We will talk more about nutrition and sleep in the upcoming weeks, so this week, we will focus on strength.
Of course, you are probably thinking, I am already so busy spending time on the 3 disciplines you are training for, how could you possibly add more to your schedule?
As with your other training, strength training should be periodized as well. What that means is, when your race season is done, it is time to back off the disciplines you have been spending most of your time doing and start back with those that have been put off to the side (or, for some of you, never started in the first place) - strength training.
No matter what your season goals are for next year, whether to get started in the sport, go longer, or go faster, you will greatly benefit by taking action on these 5 training objectives over the next 2 months.
We’re heading into what will be the off season for many of you. This is the perfect opportunity to focus on form, technique, low heart rate training, slower rides - some things that just seem counter-intuitive to athletes that want to RACE faster.
Has this ever happened to you? You have the race of your life and all you can think about is, “I have gotten this far, now I want to get even faster.” So, you begin to increase intensity and speed in your workouts. Every workout is harder, every workout you get faster, and then, BAM - you end up injured, sick, or too tired to race well the next race. Then you wonder, "what happened?" Or, if you don’t wonder, you just put your head down and say, "as soon as I get healthy, I need to start training harder."