Triathlon swim coach and founder of Tower 26 Gerry Rodrigues joined us on our weekly Facebook LIVE AMA show on Wednesday to talk all things open-water swimming. Gerry covered a wide range of topics including dealing with anxiety, starting out as a brand new swimmer, proper wetsuit fit, bilateral breathing, and more. We promise you’ll learn a ton that will help you become a better open-water swimmer ahead of your next triathlon.
See highlights below. (P.S. you have until midnight tonight (July 17) to enter to win an OTTOLOCK Cinch Lock from our partners at Clever Training.)
Gerry Rodrigues Q&A Higlights
5:42 Gerry talks about the start of Tower 26 and what it has become today. Swimmers mostly do it recreationally, while triathletes like to compete. “Competition is the ultimate measure for coaches progress, so I decided to move exclusively to triathletes.”
6:47 How do I overcome my fear of open-water swimming? “What are we really nervous about? Once we identify those we can put a checkmark next to the boxes.” Gerry goes on to give specific examples that will help you be more comfortable in the open water.
13:11 Is there a case to be made for triathletes to only train in open water?
14:26 What should the warm-up before a race be?
16:47 How important is the swim leg in a triathlon and why?
18:30 I can run and cycle, but how long will it take me to learn to swim?
20:30 Gerry talks about the proper wetsuit fit and what some solutions could be for shorter athletes.
22:23 Should you fix it if you only breathe on one side? “It’s a terrific skill to have and there are many benefits. There are world champions in swimming that breathe to one side only… If you can acquire that skill, just look at it as another tool in your arsenal that you can use in the race.”
23:39 Gerry talks about his podcast on triathlon swimming, “Be Race Ready.”
24:00 How do I fix drifting to the left?
25:24 How do I avoid the split kick?
27:08 Gerry shares his tips for dealing with the congestion at buoy turns.
29:11 Should you prepare differently for different types of open water bodies?
31:05 Should we care about stroke length and stroke rate?
33:40 Gerry addresses the controversial topic of whether or not triathletes should care about the swim kick.
36:05 What’s the best technique to now slow down too much when sighting? “Lift, look, and breath.”
38:30 How do I avoid being eaten by sharks?
40:46 Gerry talks about some of the pro triathletes that he’s currently working with.
39:45 Which pro do you see swimming that you know you could help make better? “Probably most!”
45:57 What are your thoughts on the change to the Kona swim start?
46:38 Is straight arm or high elbow best in open water?
47:48 Gerry talks about race positioning and drafting.
51:50 If you were lining up in Kona this year, who would you want to line up next to?
52:50 What’s the biggest mistake you see brand new swimmers making?
53:50 Gerry talks about the equipment you should be using in the pool.
56:41 Gerry talks about getting comfortable with wearing a wetsuit.
Gerry Rodrigues has a book coming out early next year on open-water swimming for triathletes. Stay tuned to Velopress.com for more information.