Sunday, August 15, 2010

Gotta see where your going?

I never thought much about sighting before I started focusing on Triathlon training. Actually, that implies I thought about it atleast once, when the actual truth is that I never thought about it at all. I mean really what was the need, I had goggles and the pool water in which I trained and competed in was always crystal clear. And I think the few times I did do open water swimming as a child, I always just stuck close to my brothers and they guided the way. Now as an adult and having competed in an open water competition and having done my first triathlon I see the importance of learning correct sighting technique whilst still maintaining efficient forward momentum.

The aim of the game is to still move forward right! But unfortunately what I noticed when I first started trying to use this technique in the Tri Club squad sessions, was that my lower limbs dropped slightly in the water and I felt like I slowed down heaps. I also fatigued quickly as it it not an easy thing to perfect and when I got tired my arm stretch started to shorten to - totally ineffective. We would do sets of 100m with the first 25m consisting totally of swimming with our head out of the water and the remaining 75m being Fr/s. I also noticed when I would swim at the other pool that the water polo squads also used this technique so I have been making sure that I try to incorporate this type of swimming regularly.

I think I have gotten better at it. I don't feel fatigued and I tend to maintain the same head height throughout the 25 m. I was also reading in an article today from about the differences they have found in beginner triathletes and elite swimmers when using the sighting technique. My aim will be to mimic the elite swimmers technique so as to maintain a much more proficient style in the water over the course of my 1.9km swim course in the 70.3 next year.

So even though this was never a blip on my radar, sighting now holds a whole new meaning. Do you use sighting techniques in your training?


  1. My old coach used to have us do all kinds of drills to help with sighting and I think it helped a lot.

    BTW--When we were at the beach today I saw some serious swimmers out there taking on the ocean. You guys are way tougher than we Americans!

  2. misszippy: Not sure about tougher, but Aussies are keen water sport enthusiasts regardless of the weather. As for the sighting techniques, I think these new coaches will be good for me. They are quite technically orientated.

  3. I went to an open water tri clinic where the guy taught us how to sight properly. It was awesome and I've been able to do it in all of my tris! Being able to sight efficiently is definitely beneficial!

  4. Aimee: I would love to attend a Tri Clinic. Sounds like you would learn heaps. I think TopNotch will be hold some of these.

  5. Being a poor (weak) swimmer, I sight when I pause from freestyle for some breaststroke. It's slow but at least I keep moving forward.

  6. Kovas: Whichever way you continue to sight and move forward is all good. If I could sight doing Backstroke I would :)


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