Ironman St. George — The Swim

Time: 1:18 :39
Pace: 2:03/100
M 35-39: 109/297
Overall: 880/1,634 

The course was one loop and was well set up. There were turn buoys and site buoys, which was nice. At the first turn buoy I took a wide turn and just headed out towards the second turn buoy. At this point I started to warm up and knew I could go much quicker than I was swimming. I made a decision to just take the whole swim easy. I wanted to get out of the water feeling fresh and ready to go. I backed off of the throttle and just swam, focusing on my form. I am a bilateral breather and noticed how much that helped with sighting as I could keep an eye on swimmers on both sides of me.

I never felt taxed and just kept swimming. I stayed outside of the main pack and kept a lookout for the women’s caps – they were fluorescent yellow. I never found a pair of feet to draft off – I would find a pair at it seemed they were all kicking violently. At the finish I did notice that I had a pack of about five people on my feet. I think it is because I don’t kick at all when I am in a race. I let the wetsuit make me buoyant and keep my legs up.

The third turn buoy is next to an island and we hit that and started heading for home. Man I felt fresh. I thought I could hit the gas and cruise home, but I was feeling so good, I decided I would just relax. Even at this pace I thought I would come in a 1:10 or so, but I guess when I let off the gas at the start, I really let off the gas. It was either that or I took such wide lines that I really added some distance to my swim. My bet after the fact is that it was a little of both. Lesson learned for next time. I really should wear a watch during the swim to check my pace.

Other than keeping a better eye on my pace, there isn’t much I would do differently for the swim but pick up the speed a little more. I am a consistent 1:40/100 swimmer in practice and can hold that pace forever. My form was good during the race, and I didn’t ever get tired. I think the keeping the outside line and slowing down on purpose.


Marion and I at pre-race swim. I make that nerd cap look good. Admit it.

Marion and I at pre-race swim. That water is really, really cold.

About the Author

I have been participating in running and triathlons for 10 years and love the feeling that training provides. You may not agree with me, but you know you just can't look away...