General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Swim start strategy Rss Feed  
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2014-04-07 1:02 AM


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Subject: Swim start strategy
Is this OK? I swam a slightly different line in the swim in yesterday’s pursuit Tri. Instead of swimming with the masses, I swam slightly to the left of them, heading directly for the buoy, as opposed to the right of it. This allowed me to swim freely and not get caught up in the washing machine. Then as I approached the buoy I changed my angle to allow me to get round it, so I probably had to swim a little bit longer, but I had a free run. The swim leg was clockwise. It worked very well. Anything wrong with that?

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Edited by zedzded 2014-04-07 1:11 AM


2014-04-07 9:14 AM
in reply to: zedzded

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penticton
Subject: RE: Swim start strategy
it depend of your experience level

-Fast swimmer go for the shortest line
-skill open water swimmers go for shortest line and make sure to draft and never been in open calm water

people that are newer, don't have the same skill/might be nervous etc.... look for calm water to do there own things. Nothing wrong with this.


but learning the Art of open water swimming could allow you to go faster by jumping in someone's feet that are faster than you. That is what we call a free ride.

you didn't get a free ride at all...you had to pay for every meter you swam!

so, practice getting better at swimming with others, drafting, navigating etc.... and if you don't feel confident yet.... find some calm water in the mean time as you did yesterday.
2014-04-07 11:02 AM
in reply to: zedzded

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Champion
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Sarasota, FL
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Subject: RE: Swim start strategy

If your strategy worked for you, then great.

I assume that you made a left turn around the right side of the first buoy.  I'm just a MOP swimmer at best, but my strategy would have been to stay wide to the right of the pack and then continue to stay wide around the first buoy where the pack always tends to bunch up. 

I like to be able to get into a smooth rhythm at the start which is tough to do if you're fighting through the middle of the "washing machine".  It burns a lot energy banging around and dodging other swimmers.  I prefer to stay clear early and then start pushing harder once the pack starts to thin out.   

Of course if I were a FOP swimmer, then I'd be hauling a** at the start to get clear right away.  

Mark

2014-04-07 11:49 AM
in reply to: zedzded

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Subject: RE: Swim start strategy

Whether there was anything wrong with it depends on how you did

2014-04-07 1:07 PM
in reply to: zedzded

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16

Subject: RE: Swim start strategy
No. Sometimes clean water can be a good thing. If you are stressed about contact, this is a very good thing. To save time drafting in the water takes practice. Maybe find a swim partner and practice drafting in the pool.
2014-04-07 2:13 PM
in reply to: zedzded

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Expert
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Albuquerque, NM
Subject: RE: Swim start strategy
As others have said, if it worked for you - then stick with it.

The only problem I can see is if you had to go to the right of the buoy to make a left - this will put you smack-dab in (typically) the most congested portion of the swim. In my experience, around turn buoys the width of the swim field will compress in the turn - the closer you are to the buoy, the tighter the pack gets. After the turn, the field will once again spread out. For this reason, if someone is looking to avoid the churn, I suggest they start on left if the first turn is to the right or start on the right if the first turn is to the left. This allows the to stay "outside" at the first turn.


2014-04-07 6:17 PM
in reply to: jonnyo


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Subject: RE: Swim start strategy
Originally posted by jonnyo

it depend of your experience level

-Fast swimmer go for the shortest line
-skill open water swimmers go for shortest line and make sure to draft and never been in open calm water

people that are newer, don't have the same skill/might be nervous etc.... look for calm water to do there own things. Nothing wrong with this.


but learning the Art of open water swimming could allow you to go faster by jumping in someone's feet that are faster than you. That is what we call a free ride.

you didn't get a free ride at all...you had to pay for every meter you swam!

so, practice getting better at swimming with others, drafting, navigating etc.... and if you don't feel confident yet.... find some calm water in the mean time as you did yesterday.



No it's not a confidence thing, I don't mind starting off with the masses, but I find the start really whacks me. If a swim leg goes well, I'm normally top 5, but invariably when I caught up with the rugby scrum I get tired, lose my rhythm etc and end up in the middle of the pack.
2014-04-07 6:26 PM
in reply to: RedCorvette


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Subject: RE: Swim start strategy
Originally posted by RedCorvette

If your strategy worked for you, then great.

I assume that you made a left turn around the right side of the first buoy.  I'm just a MOP swimmer at best, but my strategy would have been to stay wide to the right of the pack and then continue to stay wide around the first buoy where the pack always tends to bunch up. 

I like to be able to get into a smooth rhythm at the start which is tough to do if you're fighting through the middle of the "washing machine".  It burns a lot energy banging around and dodging other swimmers.  I prefer to stay clear early and then start pushing harder once the pack starts to thin out.   

Of course if I were a FOP swimmer, then I'd be hauling a** at the start to get clear right away.  

Mark




Yup turned left around the right side of the buoy. I think I came round in about 4th or 5th so there wasn't too much congestion. I've tried going flat out from the start, but a few times I've gone too hard, had to slow down, got caught by swimmers behind and then things have gone pear-shaped. I do need to learn to draft. I've been trying, but its not as simple as it sounds. Swam behind someone at the weekend, but then they were going a bit slow, found someone else, but they kept on veering off course. It was only a 750m swim and the conditions were quite choppy. I think if it was a 70.3 or IM swim in flat conditions it may have been a bit more conducive to drafting. I've got a 70.3 in 4 weeks so I'll hopefully I'll get some drafting opportunities. I'm looking to employ the same strategy though, swim inside the buoys. At least for the first 500m.
2014-04-08 7:15 AM
in reply to: zedzded

Regular
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Apple Valley, Minnesota
Subject: RE: Swim start strategy
My first tri, I started way outside of the mass, I know I am a strong swimmer, and didn't know what the others level would be, I probably swam an extra 75-150 yds. I was the first 15 or so out of the water. By the time I hit the turn I had positioned myself to take the straight line back. I have found since, to get to the line early and just let myself stay in front.
2014-04-08 7:30 AM
in reply to: zedzded

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Veteran
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Apex, NC
Subject: RE: Swim start strategy
Sounds like a good strategy to me given the circumstances. Half the battle is swimming straight and if you're swimming straight and smooth, that would probably be more important than a less than perfect angle on the first buoy. As others have said, you lose any drafting, but again, if you're swimming crooked and not well, that's less important.
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