With many triathletes nervously awaiting the first open-water swims of the season, we’ve recruited British record-breaking swimmer Adam Walker to share his advice.
You may not get to swim the seven seas like Adam, but it should help you calm those pre-season nerves…
Decide what events you are going to do this year and commit yourself to them. Buy a 2017 wall chart and mark them on. They are now official and you have your goals to train for.
Build a training plan which you will stick to. If swimming is your weaker discipline it’s worth proportioning more time to work on this as it could make all the difference in a race.
Ideally you should look to do a minimum of three sessions per week, preferably 1hr sessions, and stick to them. If you are disciplined in training it will provide you with the confidence you need once race day arrives.
Try and train with someone who is faster than, or at least as competent as you. This will increase your drive to push yourself. It is a great way to boost moral as well.
Training is tough enough at the best of times… Help each other to stay positive and keep up that competitive streak.
If swimming is one of the weaker disciplines, it may be worth investing in a coach as you still have time to work on technique without the concern of making any changes in the middle of the season.
Technique can take seconds off your stroke and can also be the difference between winning and losing. Don’t just settle for your old style if you feel it’s not efficient and effective.
If you are finding nutrition an issue, now is the time to try different fuels. Make sure you train using them to see how your body reacts. Everybody is different and the same product won’t necessary suit everyone.
Are you happy with your equipment? i.e. wetsuit, goggles, hat etc. Now is the time to look at replacing them and trying out different brands. The most important piece of equipment for me is the goggle.
The bulk of the training in the winter should be pool, however with a wetsuit you may decide you want to get the cold water immersion in early.
There are many lakes across the country that run year-round swimming groups. Getting used to doing small dips throughout the cold months helps prepare your body when the competition season arrives.
(Images: Remy Whiting / Delly Carr)
For lots more swim advice and drills head to our Training section