Top Swimming Tips from a Pro Ironman

by | May 2, 2020 | Training

Pro Ironman triathlete Alyssa Godesky came on The Consummate Athlete Podcast recently to share some tips on training for triathlon, and she DELIVERED. Her best swim, bike and run tips are invaluable, so we decided to put them on here for easy access.

Give the episode a listen, and enjoy her best advice here for swimming:

Get an ankle band.

You can make an ankle band out of an old bike tube. You cut it and you tie it around the length of your ankles, and basically, it does exactly what you think it does. It keeps your ankles essentially tied together so that you can no longer kick while you’re swimming and that forces you to learn to use your core when you’re swimming. It forces you to up your cadence.

When you swim in a traditional Master’s program where it’s training you for pool swims, your Masters coach is going to tell you that this is messing up your stroke, since you’re no longer going for distance per stroke with this: your stroke is shortening. But that’s actually what you want for triathlon.

Open water swimming is all about that just fast turnover and it does not have to look pretty, because there’s no lane lines in the open wall. Ankle band swimming, especially for people who are coming from a collegiate swim program, is huge for like getting a lot of bang for your buck out of the yards you are able to swim.

Claustrophobic sense that you get in a wetsuit

Yeah, that’s like super, super common and happens a lot with cold water especially. Now, I think races have started to realize that this is like a big thing for people. So a lot of times now there’s a warm up period in the water. So if the water is super cold, that’s when it becomes more important to force yourself to get in early and force your heart rate up. Pretend it’s the swim start right after you get in the water and get your face wet. Just get your heart rate up so that when the gun goes off and the whistle blows, you’ve already had that high heart rate feeling in the water. That helps a lot.

Count it out

I often use the counting technique to that first buoy, just count to 40 and then count to 39 and then count to 38. Just count your strokes, as many as it takes and just force your mind to stay on the counting and not thinking about it. Don’t think about the people that sit on your feet. As soon as you let your mind wander, it’s gonna wander to the fact that you’re nervous, it’s cold, your heart’s beating your lungs, and you know, air, air air.

And if you just keep that focused on the counting, you’ll get to that first buoy, the water will be more clear, things will be a little bit more calm, and then you can kind of get yourself together a little bit more.

Check out the whole episode here and if you love it, leave us a rating and review to help support the show! Listen to Alyssa Godesky on The Consummate Athlete Podcast

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