Get your deep-water swim starts right every time…

Perfect your starts

CHOOSE YOUR SPOT

Before you even get in the water – at least 10 minutes before the start – head down to the start to suss out your first sighting point, see how the crowd is behaving and choose your start spot. If you’re fast, head for the front and the quickest line to the first turn; if not, just choose the outside of the pack (away from the turn) or the back.

GET WARM

Get in the water and give yourself time to acclimatise to the cold. Allow water into your wetsuit and splash your face, have a quick warm-up swim if you can, then stake out your spot.

GO FLAT OUT

Wherever you’re starting in the field, start as horizontal as you can to clear a space around you and to enable you to go straight into front crawl. In a wetsuit this will be easy – kick your legs up and they’ll stay up.

SCULL AND KICK

Begin a gentle kick from the hip, so you’re ready to go. This will edge you forwards, so counteract it by sculling backwards with your front arm, gently. You’re aiming to stay roughly in the same spot.

ON YOUR MARKS…

With your back arm, have it fairly close to you and crooked, ready to pull hard as soon as the start gun goes so you can get straight into a fast stroke.

Words: Elizabeth Hufton

Check out more from our training section to perfect your swimming, or to find ways to improve your run or bike leg.