It’s well known that drafting behind another swimmer during a triathlon can save energy for the efforts to come on the bike and run. It’s also well known that having your cycling shoes clipped onto your bike can minimise the amount of time taken in transition. I’ve never quite mastered these techniques in a race situation but last weekend I finally nailed it!
On my previous attempts at drafting, I either couldn’t keep up with the swimmer in front or I found myself drifting off in a slightly different direction, thereby losing the tow. At the Liverpool triathlon last weekend, after around 750m I noticed a swimmer gradually catching me up on my right hand side. I let him move ahead and then swam closer, taking up a position on their hip. I found I could easily maintain this position and didn’t need to put in as much effort. As we rounded the final buoy, I was forced to move to a position directly following him and again I found it relatively easy to maintain this position. I ended up with a pb swim split so it just shows the value of being able to draft fellow competitors.
In recent races I’ve been leaving my cycling shoes clipped onto the bike and then putting my feet into them after I’ve got on the bike after the mount line. My technique involved placing my feet on top of the shoes and then slipping them into the shoes at the first opportunity. However, I found that this squashed down the shoe opening and strap, meaning it was quite a struggle to open out the shoe and slide my feet in. All this while trying to get up to speed on the bike. To resolve this, I’m been practising the technique of using a flying mount onto the bike, giving enough momentum to have time to slip my feet straight into the shoes and thus avoiding squashing the opening. This takes some practice but again, at Liverpool,
I finally nailed it!