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Triathletes - What to do Without Access to a Pool

by Tom Manzi - UltraFit.com

Lately, many of the athletes I coach, who are in the midst training for a triathlon, must travel for vacation or business to an area that has open-water swimming available, but no pool access. Open water is a great place to do long endurance-type swims, but there are also other skills to work on. Below is a list of some of the workouts Ive suggested for my athletes:

  • Sighting: During a long swim, sight on a stationary object that is on land. If available, it is also good to sight on a buoy that is out in the water.

    Practice counting strokes. Count 10 right-hand entries, then sight on an object, and repeat this a few times. (If you breathe only to one side, count the hand entries on your breathing side.)

    Next, sight on every fifth hand (sixth for single-side breathers) entry. Repeat this a few times, then try for every third (fourth for single-side breathers) hand entry.

  • Fartlek: After an easy warm-up, do 5 to10 x 60 seconds hard with an easy two- to three-minute steady swim in between each pick-up. Try to swim the hard part at sprint triathlon pace.

    For those that use T-time, your average 100 pace for 1,000 yards or meters, complete the pick-ups at faster than T-time pace. When doing these hard fartlek repeats, focus on good form and sighting by counting strokes.

  • Beach starts and beach entry: Practice getting into the water with a running start from a flat beach. If there is surf, practice getting through the surf and swimming a straight line for about two minutes away from beach.

    Turn back to shore; swim in hard, as if ending your swim in a triathlon. Swim until it is too shallow for you to use a normal catch on your stroke, then get up and run out of the water.

    Run with your feet going out to the sides a bit to clear the waves. Repeat this two to three times.

  • Run - swim - run - swim: A fun workout on a flat sandy beach is to start out running aerobically for about three minutes along the beach. Enter the water easy, try to drop your heart rate a bit and then swim for three minutes. Repeat this sequence a few times.

    You can carry your goggles along with you; but I wouldn’t recommend a wetsuit for this workout.

    It is important to do any of the open-water workouts or drills I’ve mentioned at a guarded beach. Be sure to be familiar with the depth, currents and condition of bottom. It’s a good idea, and more fun, to do these workouts with a partner.

    Tom Manzi is a competitive age-group triathlete and USA Triathlon certified Elite-level coach. His clients include professional and amateur triathletes, duathletes, and runners. Tom may be reached by e-mail at tmanzi@ultrafit.com.

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Team Beachbody Coach Rich Dafter

I'm Rich Dafter - dad, life-long runner, Team Beachbody Coach and Polar Global Ambassador. By the Grace of God, I have been able to raise my kids working from home by helping people get healthier, fitter and have better quality of life. Thank you for visiting my family owned website which I started on January 1st, 1995.


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