This week’s swim and run sessions – Pacing

Having calculated your CSS last week this week’s session is all about pacing yourself during the swim. It is extremely common to swim way too fast at the beginning of a triathlon (especially when it is your first race) and then spend the rest of the swim (and sometimes the bike and run) paying for your efforts. Suffering early in the swim can be a real blow to your confidence if you find yourself breathless and slipping backwards through the field. Improving your pace awareness might mean that your first race is even more fun than expected!We’ll practise pacing during our run session as well to ensure you can keep those legs turning over at lightning speed right through the finish line.

This Saturday it would be useful if you had a stopwatch with a countdown timer on it or else you will have to get very good at using the pace clock at the Lido! If your CSS is 2min 10s per 100m set your countdown timer for 1min 5s. Your watch will ‘beep’ every time you touch the wall for 50m indicating that you are maintaining the desired pace. If you don’t have a watch a quick glance at the pace clock will do the trick. Another great little gadget is something call a Wetronome. It is a waterproof metronome that can be used for working on your stroke rate (either speeding it up or slowing it down) or improving your pace awareness with the time interval function. I’ll bring mine to the Lido so you can try it out.

If you missed last week’s session and don’t know your CSS see if you can squeeze in a swim session before Saturday and calculate it yourself. After a warm up swim a 400m time trial and then a 200m time trial. Remember try to keep your pace even throughout the time trials and allow yourself a complete recovery between the time trials. Use Swim Smooth’s CSS Calculator to work out your CSS speed per 100m.

Swim Smooth have also developed a great new microsite called Swim Types. Just like an individual’s running technique can largely be explained by their physical characteristics so too can an individual’s swimming technique. Believe it or not your personality type may also have an effect on your swimming technique. Try to identify your Swim Type by taking the Swim Type Questionnaire. Let me know the result on Saturday and I’ll see if I agree with you. I think we have a few Arnie’s in the group!

See you bright and early! Tim (LFTC Coach)