There are no black lines to guide you in triathlon and open-water swimming. And there are no lane-lines either ï¿½ to cut the waves or keep you separated from your competitors. Hereï¿½s a fun drill that will help you prepare for the hand-to-hand combat of race day.
Why Do It:
If youï¿½re like most swimmers, you do the bulk of your training indoors, often solo, and always in the presence of that comforting black line. The only time you get to swim outdoors is during an open-water race or at the start of a triathlon, when conditions are WAY different from what youï¿½re used to. One big difference is that youï¿½ll be surrounded by other swimmers. They will be ahead of you, beside you, and right behind you ï¿½ and they will swim right over top of you if given half a chance. Nothing can quite simulate the energy and chaos of a triathlon start, but this drill will help prepare you for the flying elbows and choppy water.
How To Do It:
Youï¿½ll need at least one swimming buddy for this, but having at least TWO buddies makes it more fun and realistic.
1. Line up alongside each other at the end of a lane. If there are only two of you, one swimmer should swim right down the center of the lane.
2. Everyone pushes off at the same time and swims freestyle to the other end. Take a short break to regroup, then push off and swim another length.
3. Do four to six 25s, then shake hands and have a friendly workout.
How To Do It Really Well (the Fine Points):
1. Have some fun with this. Get a little aggressive. Donï¿½t be afraid to bump shoulders with the swimmer next to you.
2. Try a fast sprint to get out ahead of your lanemates, then cut in front of them.
3. Try hanging back so that you can draft off your lanemates.
4. Lean into the swimmer next to you, and experiment with drafting off their SIDE.