Ironman swim start video

Here’s what all that swim training leads to…the Ironman race start with over 2,500 athlete’s getting into the water at the same time, and heading off for a 2.4 mile swim in open water…it’s a bit cramped as you can see ๐Ÿ™‚

If you want to avoid the frenzy of the fastest swimmers at the front, you can always wait a while, and you’ll see that the last swimmer finally sets off after everyone else, which will be typically around 4-5 minutes after the starting gun goes off…and is actually swimming in relatively calm conditions…as long as he’s really slow and doesn’t catch up to anybody, he can continue here…for a while

…at the back you don’t get the benefit of drafting behind other swimmers, and believe me, it’s a lot easier to swim straight when you’re following a pile of other swimmers around you, than having to pause every once in a while as the waves bob you up and down to catch a glimpse of a distant buoy that you’re supposed to be swimming towards…and less likely to have the side current take you off course…never mind it’s a bit discouraging to see the ‘pack’ leaving you behind

…if you find yourself at the back of an Ironman swim, as I have the last 4 years, look behind you at that point, and you’ll probably see the kayak volunteer that’s been assigned to you to make sure that you don’t become a casualty of the course…and maybe even catch a glimpse of a navy diver trolling around beneath the water watching for swimmers fading off the surface to the bottom….and if you’re out there for a couple of hours, you may even have a conversation or 2 as the volunteer points you back on course, or asks if you’re ok from time to time, as you try to figure out if you’re still going in the right direction…and they’re on the walkie-talkie when the race director checks in saying, ‘yeah, he’s still making forward progress, and his arms are moving, and last time I talked to him he seemed to know what I was saying, so I think he’s okay for the moment’

…and in Ironman Florida (IMFL), which is 2 loops, this peaceful swim will be shattered as the leaders come around on their second lap, followed by almost 1,000 others that will finish in around 1 hour or under, and run over you in the water before you complete your first lap…never mind that the current and wave chop on that 2nd lap always seem/are stronger the longer that you’re out there on the IMFL course

…so this certainly just isn’t swimming in the pool lane by yourself, doing quiet drills…your brain and body need to be confident in what you’re going to do, before you hit the water, and have a specific and exact plan on how to execute that swim, so that you can focus on the day and what’s happening around you…while keeping your perfect stroke thoughts in your head, beating like a drum to the finish line

…I’m no longer satisfied with being at the back of the swim pack, making friends with the kayak volunteers…and being run over by the leaders as they stream by and I still have another lap to go…so that’s what I’m working on ๐Ÿ™‚

This entry was posted in Achieving Goals, Dad's Blog Posts, Ironman, Ironman Florida, Racing, Swimming and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Ironman swim start video

  1. Anne Boone says:

    Good luck with that. I’m content to stay near the back…my start last year was comfortable, with most the speedsters already ahead of me. I’m starting near the back this year again. I just hope I’m stronger and pay attention to staying on course this time. Oh, and it would be good not to trip the timer thingie twice as I come out of the water on the first lap.

    • Dad says:

      Anne, as it turns out an extra 4 minutes to let the frenzied pack go is actually pretty logical…been my plan for years
      …this year, I’m trying out that positive thinking thing to see if I can psych myself up to swim faster ๐Ÿ™‚

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