Admittedly swimming is the shortest distance in a triathlon however a good swim can make all the difference in a triathlon. However over the winter I am determined to ensure that I don’t stop putting the distance in as I have worked hard to get my distance and performance up over the spring and summer months.
Unless you have won the lottery, don’t have to work and base yourself in the sunshine during the winter months with a lovely outdoor pool/ocean where the temperature is 16/17 degrees C, early morning winter swims (6:30am pool opening) when it is dark, cold and possibly miserable are not attractive.
For some reason, swimming is the one aspect where my performance levels drop quickly if I don’t put the work in, I don’t notice my performance drops as much if I miss a cycle or a run, however if I miss a swim session the next one is always harder.
During the winter I am going to commute more on the bike which limits my morning swims therefore I am ensuring I get one swim a week which is a minimum of 2km, meaning I am swimming more than a 70.3 distance each week. Tips to try and keep this up during the winter:
- Assign the morning you are going to do an early morning swim at the start of the week, it means you can plan your early morning exercise around a swim morning.
- Try to keep your swimming at a constant pace, don’t go out and kill yourself in the first 250m and then struggle for 500m leaving you shattered and leaving the pool.
- Try to up your tempo slightly for 100m every 250m, a bit like intervals for swimming. However don’t up it so much that you can’t keep going.
There isn’t a science in this, however I believe this will keep my swimming levels at a good level before the spring arrives.