I KNOW it sounds crazy to swim outside in the morning in the winter. Baby, it's cold out there, even in Arizona! Wearing a quarter yard of Lycra fabric when the temp reads 38 degrees just doesn't seem right.
Here's the best kept secret in the triathlon world: morning swims are the greatest when it's cold outside. As the pool tarps roll back and the steam rises up off the water that's been heated and reheated all night long, there's not a much more comfortable place to be. Cycling and running can chill you to the bone on a cold winter's morn -- frozen fingers and drippy noses -- you know what I'm talking about. Swimming however, is the womb-like sanctuary for all climate types. You can swim while it's snowing, you can swim when it's windy -- if the water temperature is sufficiently heated, you're good to go!
And here's another swimming secret you should know about: the swimmer's snorkel. The swimmer's snorkel was designed for competitive swimmers to specifically train better form and larger lung capacity.
According to Finis: The Swimmer's Snorkel allows swimmers the ability to focus on stroke technique without the interruption of turning your head to breath. Allowing for a full range of motion this tool can be used for all strokes. Relax in the water and maintain body alignment to improve stroke efficiency.
There's a bit of a learning curve to this apparatus. You'll need to start out slow and remember not to turn to the side and breathe. But the steady focus you get while using it allows complete concentration on body position, arm rotation and kick efficiency. The coaches at Mesa Aquatics Club call it the single most effective piece of equipment a swimmer can own. And for less than $40 retail, that's a pretty great deal.
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