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Overcoming The Stress Of Triathlon Traffic Jams In Troubled Waters


Vast expanses of water with wind churning up whitecaps, hundreds of flailing arms and legs splashing around you – and you’re supposed to enjoy the swimming leg of a triathlon? Many triathletes began their career as avid runners or cyclists, rarely venturing into the water expect for a summer’s day at the pool or beach. As a result, swimming is naturally their weakest link, despite the fact that a good showing in the swimming portion of an event can lead to an energized bike transition and better overall performances.

So, what can aspiring triathletes do to feel more confident in open waters? For one thing, get used to swimming watery triathlon traffic jams.

For new triathletes, incidental contact during the swimming leg of a race can disconcert, distract and throw an athlete off his or her pace. Many coaches suggest jumping into the pool with a group of friends. Instead of observing good pool etiquette – only two to a lane swimming alternating laps – make it four or more to a lane all swimming furiously in the same direction. Yes, you’ll get an occasional foot to the forehead, but you’ll soon grow accustomed to swimming crowded waters.

“Wearing the right triathlete wetsuit can also go along way to helping a racer feel safer and more secure the water,” said Certified Fitness Instructor Rod Edmonson. “Not only will a properly-fitted wetsuit provide warmth (depending on the water temperature), but the extra buoyancy from a good wetsuit will go a long way in boosting overall confidence in the water. And the more confidence, the less fear.”

Edmonson adds that prior to an event, it’s a good idea to practice in the same wetsuit that will be used in an event to become very comfortable. “Fortunately, there are many good wetsuit website available these days, including .”

Once a triathlete overcomes that stressful, “sinking feeling” of dealing with “rush hour” traffic in the water, he or she can start to relax, and focus more on technique and faster times.


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