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Open Water Swimming - Made Easier

Key tips for better open water swimming, running well as you age, and the link between exercise and digestion

Good morning everyone,

It’s a mix of nerves and excitement ahead of my first race of the season at IRONMAN 70.3 Oceanside. It’s time to put the early season training to use and found out what’s feeling good, and what needs some more work!

  • My goal for the race? Put in a strong effort across all three disciplines, race smart, and as always, empty the tank! 

70.3 Oceanside is also the "unofficial” kickoff of the North American triathlon season. And with my boots on the ground, there are a few things I’ll be watching for:

  • It’s the first season headed by the new CEO of IRONMAN, Scott Derue. Will he be looking to come out and make his mark early?

  • How are industry insiders feeling? Now that we’re firmly beyond the pandemic’s grip are we going to be seeing a return to race sellouts like before? Or is there a new economic equilibrium?

  • What’s the athlete vibe like? Is the morning transition zone energy still just as strong?

  • And how are the pros feeling about the new IRONMAN pro series and T100 World Tour? Where do they think things will stand a year from now?

There will be plenty of action, on and off the course.

Want to watch the race? Streaming info available here. 

In today’s edition:

  • 🏊‍♀️ Nail your open water swimming with these key tips.

  • 🏃 How to run well into your 50’s, 60’s, and beyond!

  • 🥗 And everything you need to know about exercise and digestion.

Thanks for being here.

-Matt Sharpe, newsletter editor

Headshot of Matt Sharpe

Have a triathlete in your life who can't stop swimming, biking, or running? Fire this off to them. Forwarded from a friend? Sign-up for free. 


Open Water Swimming is Hard. Here’s How to Make it Easier

Johann Schwarz

Open-water swimming…it’s not the same as the pool! There are much fewer jellyfish, for one thing. Also, the pool is a controlled environment, whereas the open water is truly uncontrolled.

If you’re trying to improve your open-water swimming, here are a few key principles for nailing that first leg 👇

🩳 Shorten that stroke: Traditional swim stroke guidance is long and powerful. But unless you’re built like Micheal Phelps, your arms will be too fatigued and the rest of your race will suffer.

  • Check out this video for crucial stroke rate insight.

🔭 Sight well: You don’t want to swim more than you have to, right? Well, being better at sighting is super crucial. The key is to find that sweet spot where your eyes can spot what’s ahead while not lifting your entire head.

  • Watch a great primer on correct sighting here.

🦶 Kick kills: Kicking fast is great for having a fast start to the triathlon…and not much else. The ROI for a big kick is just not high and may hurt your bike/run.

Where is your favorite open water swim spot?

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🏃 Running with age: As we get older our bodies aren’t quite up to the same demands, and you might be wondering if you’ll be able to run well beyond your 50’s and 60’s. This Reddit thread has some sage wisdom on ensuring you can run successfully for life! [Reddit]

🏋️‍♀️ Gym guide: When you’re in the gym, should you be doing more reps, or more weight? It really depends on your fitness goals, and this article is a great place learn what you need. [The Manual]

🚲 Basic bike maintenance: When we want our bodies to perform their best we take care of them. But what about our bikes? It’s been a minute since that chain has been cleaned, hasn’t it?!? Take care of the machine with these simple but effective bike cleaning tips! [YouTube]

🥗 Exercise and digestion: Of course, exercise and digestion are related. But how exactly? These videos (one and two) from health journalist (and fellow subscriber) Emma Yasinski helps explain the relationship between exercise and digestion, and even how exercise has a clear link in improving it. [Emma Yasinski]

💩 Olympic obstacle: A huge and seemingly unanswerable question hangs over this Summer’s Olympic Triathlon, will the athletes be able to swim? Or will the poor water quality ruin the sports moment in the sun? After reading this article, the answer doesn’t exactly seem closer…[Triathlete]


Does that 3km run need to be posted? 🤔 Of course! 🤣


Tennessee Triathlon: Is Tennessee the best place for triathlon in America? With two races ranked in the top 10 of the best in the country, it just might be! [The Tenessean]

25th trianniversary: The Qualicum Beach Triathlon is celebrating its 25th anniversary this June. Athletes can compete in duathlon or triathlon events. And if you are able to volunteer, please take the chance! [PQB News]

PTO Champs: Kyle Smith (NZ) and India Lee (GBR) won the PTO Athletes of the Month for February and March respectively. [Triathlon Magazine Canada]


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