So you’ve heard about this new fad and now you want to try a swimrun. But how do you train for it? What do you need to know? Does it help with triathlon? And can it fit around your triathlon schedule?
“There’s a lot of overlap, obviously,” says Carrie McCusker, a triathlon coach who did one of the first big swimrun races in the U.S. just because it was in her backyard and now has a number of her triathletes training for swimruns. That means the short answer is: yes, you can definitely fit a swimrun race into a triathlon season. Or, as is increasingly becoming the trend in Europe, where the new sports is booming: Fit a triathlon into your swimrun season.
“Swimrun is becoming a sport in itself,” says swimrunner Nicolas Remires, who trains almost exclusively for the sport. He’s been in the top 10, as high as third, the last four years at the ÖtillÖ Swimrun World Championships in Sweden, and founded and coaches an international swimrun age-group team, Team Envol. For triathletes, he recommends trying a swimrun in their off-season, or using it to build endurance, open-water abilities, and even transition skills—but don’t underestimate the sport as its own “thing.”
“Some swimruns can be really challenging, and you should take care that you won’t put too much energy into it if you have an important triathlon coming up,” he says. “The biggest mistake I’ve seen so far is to lack respect for the swimrunners.”
That doesn’t mean you need to be scared to try one, either, though. “My overall top tip is to get on and have a go. Swimrun is an awesome sport, with an awesome community of adventurous, friendly people,” says Jude Palmer, a swimmrunner and coach based in the U.K. In other words, go into it with an open mind, not thinking it’ll be a breeze, or that it’ll necessarily crush you—have fun, and know it’ll help your tri training as well.