Enter to Win
When it comes to open water events or a triathlon start, the first hurdle is just getting into the water. Strategize for the entry you’ll encounter to shave seconds off your time.
The day before the race, scope out the water’s edge, noting rocks, underwater sand shelves, or any other obstacles. When the race starts, lift knees high as you run into the water. When the water level is just above knees, do a shallow dive and start swimming. If you encounter a wave, swim below the whitecap. Newbies: Consider hanging back a few seconds, letting faster swimmers thrash it out in the sprint to the first buoy. It won’t cost much time, and you’re less apt to get kicked in the face.
Racers stand on the edge of a dock or barge and are released in heats, with 10 seconds or even a few minutes between groups. Swim away from the shoreline (or retaining wall) if possible, where the water tends to be less choppy.
Slowly swim to the start corral, then calmly tread water as you wait for the starting siren. Don’t paddle around, which uses up too much energy.
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