Aquathlon Count Down, from Fix...

Thanks again to Fix for a complete guide for how to prepare and race in an aquathlon...

The back story…

There is no definite consensus about when aquathlons started, but it seems it all kicked off in the 50’s with the competitively sporty Australians. The Aussie lifeguards (in their fetching red and yellow trunks!) would run along a beach, swim out to sea round a buoy and swim back to the beach, get out the ocean and run back along the beach. By the 1960s unsurprisingly aquathlons had taken off in sunny California! Now of course aquathlons can be ‘enjoyed’ wherever you are in the world including right here in the slightly cooler climes of London Town….if you’re doing this next Capital Tri event you’ll want to read on….

Here’s our race count down guide for the day itself...

Thirty minutes before the bell warm up your body. Try a light jog for 10- minutes and some stretching, only do stretches your used to and remember to breathe into them.

Twenty minutes before the start put some jelly on yourself! The non-petroleum kind that is. Vaseline is pretty nasty stuff so go for something more natural like Badger Balm or Nature’s World petroleum-free (baby!) jelly. This of course is to avoid neoprene burn and allow you to get that wetsuit off in record time. Rub it liberally into the neck, wrists and ankles.

Ten minutes before gently sip (don’t make yourself sick) a carbohydrate rich drink. Go for whatever drink you fancy but we’d recommend adding a spoonful of chia seeds in for extra energy as well as recovery aid post-event. FIX nutritionist Josie Beevers explains just why these seeds are so wondrous here. The boring but necessary but: rinse anti fog in your goggles to avoid them steaming up. This helps you see where you are going (always handy!) and so reduces the dreaded fear factor when out in the water.

And you’re off!

Now for the run part…

Remember it may feel odd for a couple of minutes after swimming but your body will soon catch up with what’s going on! Aim for short fast strides, your leg muscles will quickly lengthen. And remember to use your arms to drive your legs forward. Not sure your running technique is up to scratch? Come into FIX for a running assessment with one of out Physios or Osteos.

Good Luck Capital Tri racers and remember to come in and claim your £10 off any 1 hour appointment at FIX soon.

The Splash & Dash is back

Our first aquathlon of the summer takes place on Sunday 7th May. The Splash & Dash is an open water swim followed by a run at a stunning venue in north east London.

You can enter over two distances – a 750m swim followed by a 5k run, or double up for a 1500m swim and 10k run.

It’s an event equally suited to novices looking to get their first triathlon experience and hardcore athletes looking for a fast time.

Come sign up here.

Competitive Swimmers Top Tips from FIX

 Thanks to Fix for a fantastic guide to your swim season!

Preparation is key...

Throw yourself into as many cold outdoor ponds, lakes or reservoirs as possible (safely of course) to acclimatise your body to the chilly water temperatures here in Blighty. 

Get in as many practice swims as you can. Baths don’t count. 

 

The fashion bit...

Try your wetsuit on before you swim. Not for sartorial reasons (though we have nothing against that), but because it’s vital you’re able to move and swim freely in it. It’s essential that you get it fitted in advance and have a practice swim or two in it. 

Ensure your swim cap is noticeable – the brighter the better! We suggest a vibrant FIX orange so your fans and supporters can easily spot you and cheer you on!

Doubling up with caps really helps to retain heat as well. 

Manicures – hold off growing those nails till after the Splash and Dash- keep those nails short or you run the risk of tearing the neoprene of your wetsuit or scratching a fellow swimmer.  

 

On the day…

Despite plunging yourself into a reservoir, you do need to hydrate. Drink plenty of water before the swim, but not so much that you feel bloated. You’re not likely to overheat in the swimming events so you don’t need to go overboard with the fluids like you might in a solely running event.

 

Eat… 

Complex slow release carbs energy but not too close to the swim obviously! Aim for 2-4 hours before the event if possible. Also don’t forget to have a natural energy gel pre and/or post event. Here’s our nutritionist Josie’s recipe. All the energy none of the artificial nasties! 

Breathe! It’s normal to feel anxious when getting in the water so just be sure to breathe, slowly and calmly, as holding your breath can increase anxiety.  

Practice your breathing in a pool beforehand. Yogis and Pilates students should be good at this. If you’ve got it sorted there, you’re sorted in the reservoir!

Sighting – You may think that sighting is as simple as lifting your head to look forward and see where you are going, easy but it needs a great deal of skill and technique to do it well. The world's best triathletes and open-water swimmers can sight without disrupting the rhythm of their stroke or their body position in the water, and this is absolutely key.

Many triathletes try to kill two birds with one stone by sighting forward and lifting their head high enough to breathe forward as well. However afraid this is poor technique as lifting your head high enough to breathe will cause your bottom and legs to drop, which causes a great deal of drag.

This is the best technique: Time your sighting just before you're going to take a breath. So if you're about to breathe to your left, lift your eyes out of the water just before by pressing down lightly on the water with your lead arm (in this case it'll be your left). Only lift up enough to get your eyes just out of the water. Then turn your head to the left to breathe, as you do so, letting it drop down into the water to a normal position.

By keeping a low head position when sighting and then breathing to the side you can keep normal body rotation in your stroke. This helps keep the rhythm of your stroke going and your speed up.

The sight-turn-breathe technique is very quick - it should be a fluid, rhythmic part of the stroke as opposed to 3 separate movements. Don’t worry you’ll get there with practice! Normally you'd look to sight about every 9 strokes.

 

Last but not least…

Pilates and Swimming are not necessarily the most obvious combination but the practice of Pilates can really complement swimming as FIX clients testify to. Read on here.

Good luck all in the wonderful events that Capital Tri have coming up and if you run into bodily trouble training or following an event, or just want to improve technique then FIX is here to help.