The second the gun goes off, you realize you're no longer in a race. You're in a battle. You weave around people, trying to get ahead. Arms lash into you, as others try to get their bearings. You dash into the cold water, running as hard as you can until you get to the point where you can finally start swimming. The battle's not over yet, though, as you now have to avoid being kicked in the head and body by your fellow competitors. Once you get past the mayhem, you can really focus on having your best triathlon ever.
The triathlon start is one of the most chaotic in all of sports. First off, it starts with the swim leg, which tends to be the difficult part of the race for triathletes. Swimming is an incredibly challenging sport to begin with, but the swim portion of a triathlon takes place in open water, providing a whole slew of other challenges to contend with. Some competitors may not get a chance to train in open water and therefore aren't used to the different environment. You have to navigate through currents, waves and undertows, which force you to look up occasionally, or sight, to make sure you're still on course and swimming in the right direction.
You're also swimming in close proximity to others, so you have to learn how to negotiate both waves and other people without kicking anyone or being kicked. Many triathletes also use a wet suit, and if you haven't trained much while wearing it, you have to adjust to the sudden buoyancy the suit provides.
Whether the swim starts in the water or on land, all racers have to deal with not only getting themselves in the water quickly, but avoiding getting kicked by other racers trying to establish their positions. It's a brutal way to start a race, but if you prepare yourself mentally and physically, you can avoid having a disastrous start.
How can you make your triathlon swim start as smooth and as fast as possible? Read on for more advice.