My Common Swimming Form Mistakes

I was 12 years old when I stopped swimming and after 30 years triathlon brought me back to a sport I once loved.  As a child I used to like swimming, seeing how my brothers were trained by a very good coach I wished that I could also train with them but that wish never came to fruition and instead my brothers taught me the basics and betamax tapes helped me to some extent.  Then I transferred to a seminary for my high school and swimming was gone for good... or so I thought.  Back to the present and here I am struggling to correct my own stroke but knowing that I can swim gives me the confidence that somehow I can have a decent swim split (my standards are low) with just a handful of 25 minute workouts before a triathlon race. Here are some of the mistakes that I usually do during race day.

1.  Split kicking  - with my emphasis on the next legs - bike and run - I change my kick in triathlon as I intend to save leg strength and the result is an imbalanced kick.  To avoid doing the same thing practice your two-beat kick just in case you are not prepared to kick correctly all the way to t1.

2.  Forward looking head position - as triathlon necessitates sighting for the buoy and bodies all around I keep looking forward to navigate through the traffic and this position adds to my exhaustion.  When bodies clear up avoid looking up and forward.  Practice swimming straight even without floor lines.

3.  Arms too high on recovery - I do not have the endurance to swim as fast as I would like to so I take all the time in the world to rest during recovery phase and put my arms so high to time it with my intended pace.  With this stroke you can spot me from afar because this mistake is so unique and I don't wear a trisuit that narrows down the search. Fitness plays a big role in endurance sports but good technique never goes out of style, and as flawed as my form could be it is comforting to know that some lessons learned from the past can make me a better swimmer than I am right now.  Happy training and keep that feet wet!

Pinoy Triathlon Tee

The Tee that travels with me when I'm doing multisport races.  Made by my friend

To Go Clipless Pedal or Not

I am such a newbie or a sissy for that matter.  After a year of riding my bikes I still don't use clipless pedal.  So what's for the holdover?  I was and still am afraid of that dreaded 'SEMPLANG'.  Funny as it may seem but yes Pinoy Triathlon uses running shoes when training and racing.  I guess being so far out against the seasoned triathletes aspiring for a podium was not in my list and going clipless where I'm not comfortable to wear may just stress me out.  Something that's against my goals - to finish and relieve my stress.  But why am I writing about this? Well, I have a plan to join White Rock Triathlon and it's kinda long 2K-90K-20K so I guess a shoe upgrade is just a necessity; something that must be done like wearing a trisuit that until now am still not wearing.  But as much as I don't see the need for a trisuit yet, going clipless is a no brainer barring the phobia for bike crash.  So the contemplation is over.  I'll go with clipless pedal and hammer out on the bike leg before WRT.  Who knows I may be on the podium - NOT! Cheers.

Animo Sprint Triathlon 2012

Animo Sprint Triathlon
900m  - 30K – 7.5K
June 10, 2012
Ayala Alabang Village

1.  2nd Out of the Water – without the usual podium suspects in my age group I emerged 2nd out of the pool of La Salle Zobel

2.  Lost my Slippers – never got to use my flip flops for my run to T1 which I placed just beside the pool 

3.  Slow T1 – I stayed for approximately 3 minutes inside T1

4.  Slow Bike Leg as usual – averaged approximately 29 kph, my cyclocomputer didn't work so I had to guess my speed the whole time, strong bikers passed by with their sweet aero wheel sound 

5.  Fast T2 – with my trusty New Balance already worn since T1 I was relatively faster than those who have to change their shoes

6.  Fastest Run Split – at a pace of 4:36 minutes per kilometer I overtook 7 men on my way to the finish line 

7.  Finished in less than 2 hours – fortunately at exactly 1:58:14 I crossed the finish line in 5th place

8.  Nizoral Photo Booth with Family – after getting my loot bag, snack and finisher’s shirt we went to the photo booth

9.  Photo Opp with Matteo G. – saw a tanned celebrity, he’s fast too!

10. Photo Opp with – PinoyTriathlon met KikayRunner

Just before gun start

2nd out of the water

Coffee booth: good for spectators

Photo booth

At the awarding stage with free snack of banana and Goldilocks bread

18:19 - 1:05:23 - 34:30

Side by side with a tanned actor

With / Noelle

5 Reasons Why Self Coaching Could Be Good For You

If you know how to swim chances are you're contemplating on not hiring a coach in your immersion to the sport of triathlon.  Of course hiring a coach or joining a club with a coach is the best option but there are reasons why going it your way could be a good thing.

Crossing the finish line knowing that you've done it your way gives personal satisfaction

5 reasons why self coaching could be good for you

1. It's free.

2. Information is out there you just have to double check if it will suit you. In this age of the internet, google is your friend, youtube is your mentor, forum is your adviser and videocam is your eye. With lots of articles, training plans and videos out there you can follow a conservative plan and fine tune as you get to know more about yourself.

3. You know your capability. More than anyone else you know your schedule, your goal, your strengths, your weaknesses and even your nutrition intake.

4. You know the reason why you're doing triathlon. You may be here for the love of racing or to attain a specific fitness goal. You may be doing this to release stress or to exorcise some demons in your head. Regardless of what your motivation is, you know them and you can use them to dig deep when something goes against your plan.

5. It feels good that you reached your goal doing it your way. While everything seems to be difficult like correcting the stroke and form, the scouring for information, the interviews with veteran triathletes - the satisfaction is immense once you cross the finish line.

If you decide to go this route like I did, be sure to have a plan and be conservative in both intensity and duration. HAPPY TRAINING!

Training with friends in beautiful places makes it easier

Running with your kids makes them like what you are doing
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