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The best way to prepare your body for a triathlon start is to practice, practice, practice. Although you need to train your body to pace yourself, to complete your swim fast and to perfect your technique, you also need to train your body to prepare for the sprint into the water and the adrenaline you will experience, Here are a few ways to do so:
1. Practice in the Pool
This will help you improve your endurance. Some good things to help you practice for the start are:
Full Out Sprints: Swim as fast as you can for as long as you can as much as you can! When you start a triathlon, your body goes into instant ‘flight’ mode and your adrenaline is seriously pumping. Therefore you need to be able to go fast.
Sit Up Sprints: Do between 20-40 sit ups on the side of the pool and then immediately jump in and complete a sprint (the distance your sprint will be on the day). The reason this will help is because it will tire you out a little (like the run into the water will) and it will also get your body geared up and ready to go (the feeling you will get on the day).
2. Practice in Open Water
If you are competing in an outdoor triathlon event (which most are), then it essential that as well as practicing in the pool, you also do some training in open water. Not only will the swim itself feel different, you will also be able to practice the run into the water.
Focus on technique and pace, as well as the way you enter the water. This is important as it starts the whole race!
3. Practice Dodging Obstacles
It’s all good and well practicing swimming in a straight line but the reality is that there are going to be many other people swimming around you trying to compete for that front spot.
If you can place obstacles in your way whilst you practice swimming, this will work to your advantage on the day of the event. Unfortunately, a triathlon start is not as straightforward as many may think!