March 1, 2017
TIME TO SUIT UP (I)
A SOLUTION FOR EVERY SWIMMER
Getting started in triathlon can be a daunting task and it’s a big step for every athlete who commits to race. Often new triathletes come from a single specific sporting discipline. Many will be from one of the three sports that triathlon incorporates, whether it’s swimming, cycling or running.
Regardless of their background athletes will have developed strengths relating to that sport. This is where the complexity of triathlon comes in because it combines three sports, each with technical and physical aspects that differ from one another.
TRIATHLON: THREE TECHNIQUES IN ONE
Of the three disciplines that make up a triathlon, cycling and running have more in common with one another compared to swimming. This means regular training in these two disciplines favours progress in these sports, but neither of these are directly beneficial for the water segment.
Frequent training in cycling and running can lead to the development of increased muscle and weight in the lower part of the trunk. This can lead to a greater chance that the athlete’s legs will sink in the water. Cycling and running can also lead to a lack of flexibility in the lower trunk that may result in a poor kicking technique.
This is because the legs tend to be more rigid and the movement lacks smoothness. Years of bicycle training, especially when combined with a sedentary job, can shorten the posterior muscular chain that can hinder development in the water.
"SWIMMING IS STILL THE WEAKEST DISCIPLINE FOR MANY TRIATHLETES"
Triathletes who do not come from a swimming background often find it harder to master efficient technique because of both physical and psychological limitations. Achieving perfect technique in swimming is complicated unless it’s worked on from the beginning. It is therefore difficult to reach the same level as someone who has been swimming since they were a child. To achieve good technique in the water requires many hours of hard training.
For many triathlon lovers, the swim continues to be their weakest discipline. Technical errors during this segment are common, even in high-level competition, and occur more frequently than you would imagine.