Archive for drafting

IM Florida

Posted in Triathlon with tags , , , , , , , on November 8, 2009 by brianestover

It’s barely over and already people are whining about drafting.  Look folks, drafting happens, it’s an accepted practice at all the big IM events. Some people will get dinged sure, but lets face it, those races are semi ITU races for many of the age groupers.

So what should you do if you see a big group?  Catch it or let it catch you.  Thats right, get with the group. Then sit the legal 3 bike lengths distance behind it. I have several power files showing drops of 10-40 watts with .5-2.0 mph increases in speed.  You want to race smart, thats smart racing.  Let some other schmuck do all the work.  Sit back, have a coke, eat a gel and laugh your ass off at everyone else.

You want to go to Kona? Then don’t be a hero trying to break away from the pack.  Ride 3 lengths behind, save your watts for the run and ride way faster then you would have by yourself.  Then, get off the bike and run people down. Accept your Kona slot and be the happiest, smartest racer on the podium.

But I can hear the screaming now.  This violates the spirit of triathlon blah blah and on and on.  Spirit?  Really? When you have 100 people per minute getting out of the water? Thats more then 1 per second.  How the heck are you going to fit that onto a bike course legally?  The spirit of the rule was violated when the race got that big. The RDs and WTC are the biggest hypocrites about it.  NO drafting. 2400 entries. NO drafting. 2400 entries.

Race smart within the rules.

Swim Tips & Tricks

Posted in Random Stuff with tags , , , , , , , , on May 27, 2009 by brianestover

Swimming for many triathletes is the most challenging part of a triathlon. Here are a few pointers to help you get through the swim. Using your brain when you swim will help you exit the water sooner.

Practice drafting. Doing a triathlon is great for this. So is getting a few same speed swimmers together at the local swimming hole. Use every opportunity to practice, even if it is in a race.

Look forward in the water to find the bubbles coming off the feet in front of you for a draft. There isn’t much need to lift the head to find the feet when you can follow the bubbles by looking forward. 

The more you look to see where you’re going the harder the swim is. Sight once every 20-30 strokes not every 4-6. 

If you have a long, slow swim stroke, ride someone’s hip. Not as good as their feet but allows you to swim in cleaner water. 

Start the swim riding a hip.  You can always take a few easy strokes to get back to their feet once things sort out. Lose their feet, often times there is no getting back on. 

Don’t be a Lemming. For many people, getting to the outside of the pack will enable you to swim faster then struggling within the pack to find decent water. 

Use the surroundings to help navigate. Is there a shoreline you can sight off of, trees, a pier, boats or other swimmers? Get landmarks in your mind before the gun goes off. Use these things for gross navigation. Lift your head to fine tune where you are going. 

Know someone who is just a bit faster then you? Line up right next to them, after the initial drag race, slot in behind them. 

If you start in the second or later waves, there is usually a line of colored caps to follow. If you breath left, move to the right of this line. If you breath right move to the left.  You can use the earlier waves to sight without lifting your head.