Training for the Asheville Triathlon: Swimming

Training for the Asheville Triathlon: Swimming

Meet Asheville’s Zach Tacy, an elite triathlete who recently completed the  Ironman Virginia 70.3 with a total time of 4:21:23. He PR’d by 10 minutes and was first in his age group, 8th overall, and qualified for the World Championships In Nice, France.

He also competed in the 70.3 World Championship in South Africa with a total time of 4:34:01 and placed 407th overall. He was 28th in his age group out of over 4,500 world athletes.

Swimming Techniques for Sprint Tri

When you think of a triathlete, you probably picture someone like Zach Tacy: Super fit and lean, ready to run, swim and bike circles around you before you’re even done strapping on your swim goggles.

But not every triathlete is an elite athlete, and not every triathlon is an Ironman. Sprint Triathlons - which offer shorter distances - are becoming increasingly popular. A Sprint Triathlon involves a .5 mile swim, a 12.4 mile bike and a 3.1 mile run, so training for it is extremely doable. It’s a great gateway into the sport of triathlon; in fact, Zach’s first tri was the Asheville Triathlon, which is a sprint tri.

“When I crossed the finish line (at the Asheville Tri), the volunteers and staff were extremely supportive and so encouraging to everyone,” Zach says. “It was a phenomenal experience.”

Training for a Sprint Tri is easy to do as long as you stay consistent. Long workouts are not necessary, but doing all three sports on a regular basis each week is what will set you up for success. We will have three blogs posted over the next couple of weeks on techniques for swimming, biking and running. Here are some tips to get you started on the right path.

Swim Training: Breathing

 When training for any triathlon, it is very important to work on your swimming technique. Zach’s first tip? Don’t forget to breathe. Seems like a no-brainer, but it’s more difficult than you may think.

“It’s something I’m still working on,” Zach admits. “Having proper technique for swimming is so important - it’s more important than in running or biking.

A lot of people hold their breath while swimming, he addds, which leads to quicker fatigue and gasping for air. Instead, focus on a steady inhale/exhale rhythm, much like in yoga and running. Blow air out from your nose while your face is submerged and empty your lungs, then on every other stroke, tilt your head to the side, halfway out of the water, and take in oxygen. Once comfortable with that, inhale every three strokes while expelling air in between to practice getting air on both sides.

“This allows for a smoother breathing pattern, decreased fatigue, and allows the swimmer to focus more on effort and swim stroke than breathing.”

Bonus tip: Developing a breathing pattern is also very helpful for running.

“It should feel comfortable and natural,” Zach says. “And, it may change! Let it grow and evolve with your running.”

Save your legs for biking and running

 When swimming, rely mostly on your arms to pull you through the water. There are plenty of practice drills you can work on to accomplish this. For example, you can start each of your swim sessions with 10-15 minutes of some of the following drills:

  • Fingertip Drag: Drag your fingertips along the surface of the water when you bring your arm forward after a stroke. This helps you control your arm movement and keeping your elbow bent.
  • Doggie Paddle: Remember this one when you were a kid? Keep your chin on the surface of the water and push your elbows outward as you swim forward, keeping your hands under the water.
  • Clenched Fists: Swim your normal freestyle stroke with clenched fists. This emphasizes the role of the forearm.
  • Kickboard:Use a kickboard to focus only on your kick while keeping your arms stationary on the board.

Body Positioning

 Your head position will lead the rest of the body, says Zach. Your face should be at about a 45 degree angle in the water, with your forehead cresting the surface. Looking too far forward will cause resistance and pain in neck and shoulders, as well as making your body rotation more difficult. Looking too far down will also cause resistance.

Good body rotation is a very important when you’re swimming.

“When your arm enters the water, you want to reach a little further before starting your pull/stroke,” Zach says. “This will help with body rotation as well.”

The stroke should make a slight S-path in order to catch more water, and you should finish your stroke around the upper thigh.

“Also, drive from the hips! Allow your body rotation to propel you forward instead of fully relying on you shoulders and stroke. By driving from the hips and rotating your body properly, you will become a more efficient swimmer.”

Know what to expect

 It’s important to know what type of race start your event will have so you can prepare for it mentally and physically during your training. There are a couple of start styles that are the most common: A wave start, and a time trial start.

The Asheville Tri is a time-trial start, and your start time will be assigned to you (you can anticipate about five seconds between each swimmer). During the registration process, you will be asked to submit your 100 yard swim time. This is not the fastest you can swim 100 yards, but the time you expect to average during the entire swim. Here is a good guide when deciding what swim time to register for the Asheville Triathlon:

  • 0:50 – 1:20 : Super Fast (In contention to win the race and you swim competitively)
  • 1:21 – 1:45 : Fast Enough (Still starting in the first 1/3 of the event)
  • 1:46 – 2:10 : Average Swimmer (Swim well enough and don’t need to stop at the end of each lane)
  • 2:11 – 2:44 : Novice (Still getting used to swimming in a triathlon)
  • 2:45 – 4:59 : Complete beginner (I want to start at the back)

Be consistent in your training

 Try to swim once or twice a week, and aim for 250 meters. You can break your sessions into intervals of 25 meters (usually one length of a pool) of nonstop swimming with 20 seconds of rest in between to catch your breath. Remember: You don’t want to be gasping for air. Instead, enjoy your time in the pool. This will help you stay consistent and avoid skipping workouts.

“I am a Pisces,” says Zach. “I love being in the water! It doesn’t matter if it’s racing, training, or just for fun. Swimming can be a Zen state for me…Once I warm up and sync in my breathing, strokes, and rotation, the rest flows smooth.”

Click here for more information about the Asheville Triathlon, and to register for this event, which takes place Sunday, July 21st.

Editor’s note: We will continue to blog about the Asheville Triathlon in the upcoming weeks. Next up: Biking!


Sources: https://www.active.com/triathlon/articles/how-to-train-for-a-sprint-triathlon-6802


Training Schedule for Asheville Triathlon

Two swims per week

Two bikes per week

Two runs per week

Zach Tacy talks about why the Asheville Triathlon is the event to sign up for this year.

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3rd Annual LPC Triathlon goes RETRO!

2014 LPC Triathlon joins coast-to-coast 2nd Annual USAT Retro Tri Series! What an incredible honor to be selected by USA Triathlon for inclusion!!


THE 2014 LPC TRIATHLON is on August 17th.
Race begins at 8:00 am.

USAT_RetroTriSeriesThird Annual LPC Tri: Swim in, Ride on and Run out! The LPC Triathlon, part of the 60s/70s-themed USAT Retro series, is the perfect event in which to challenge one’s self, regardless of competition experience athletic prowess. Held upon the beautiful grounds of Leila Patterson Center in Fletcher, NC, it features a 200 yard pool swim, a 17.5 mile bike on quiet country roads, and a rolling 5k run with an on-track finale in which to summon your mighty kick to the tape! Both individuals and relay teams are encouraged to join in, and you don’t have to be a three-sport athlete to participate.


The $35 registration fee is CHEAP CHEAP — REGISTRATION IS OPEN so reserve your spot while they last!



USAT10LogoWOThe race entry fee allows participating in the triathlon event and a portion of the race proceeds will benefit the LPC swim program for underprivileged children. More information about event on the LPC Triathlon home page.


 Bring out your little champions to help enjoy the fun, because the LPC Kid’s MultiSport Events, part of our Carolina Kids MultiSport Race Series, will again run in conjunction with the LPC Triathlon! What’s more, the LPC Kid’s Splash and Dash (swim/run) is a USA Triathlon certified event, and has been selected to be part of the USAT Splash and Dash Youth Aquathlon Series of 2014! There are only 50 events in this USAT youth series this year, and we are hosting two of them (alongside the Asheville Kid’s Splash N’ Dash)! These events are geared to help drive participation by adolescents, and pave the road for the future of multi-sports. Multiple kid’s race distances available based on age and experience.


Get ready for the LPC Triathlon with custom coaching and training packages.


LPCtrainingiDaph Events and Lelia Patterson Fitness Center have teamed up to offer you a group training packages in the Asheville/Hendersonville area which provides more in-person time for our athletes, with structured triathlon training led by knowledgeable coaches to create motivation, accountability, and camaraderie. This program is recommended for the beginner to advanced Triathlete wishing to participate in all distance multi sport races with greater success and less injury.




Volunteers are the backbone of a terrific event experience. Sign up to donate 1 – 2 hours of your time helping to make the event run smoothly by counting laps, helping at registration, and other useful tasks. All volunteers will receive yummy food and will get to enjoy in all the event festivities. It’s easy to sign up, just click, enter your email for confirmation, and choose your spot!



If you prefer not to use your email address, or have trouble signing up, please contact us to sign up manually.



2013 LPC Tri Race Results

2013 Hunter Subaru LPC TriCongratulations to all the participants in the 2nd annual 2013 Hunter Subaru – LPC Triathlon!

Ryan iDaph racing gets interviewed by WLOS

We are so proud of all of you for your accomplishment today, so give yourself a big pat on the back for giving it your all at our 2nd annual LPC Triathlon! Congrats to overall male winner, Ryan Madamba! Kit Hayes from Asheville, NC,  triumphed as the female winner overall and ‘The Croatian Sensation’ team took first place in the team division! We hope you all enjoyed the event as much as we did and will join us next year!

Today’s success couldn’t happen without the support of many Kids finisherdifferent organizations and sponsors: Our title sponsor Hunter Subaru, Monte’s Sub Shop, Sycamore Cycles, Foot RX Running Asheville, Fletcher Valley Market and Bakery, Strawberry Hill Yogurt & Cafe, Park Ridge Health, The UPS Store, Hendersonville Pediatric Dentistry, Norwood Gentle Family Dentistry, Trans Energy Patch  and Hammer Nutrition.

Pottery keychain awardsWe owe a great deal of thanks to Lelia Patterson Center, Right on Time Productions (timing and results), Fletcher Police, Volunteer Police of Henderson County, Henderson County Sheriff and Rescue Squad and the NCDOT for supporting this event in Henderson County. We also want to thank all the volunteers who made this race safe and possible.

2013 Complete Race Results

Our awesome volunteersWe will email a race survey shortly, don’t forget to give us your feedback so we can keep the things you loved about the race and improve for next year. You can keep up-to-date with the LPC Triathlon updates all year long by liking us on Facebook. For more information on other unique iDaph events like the iDaph on Facebook! We hope that all you will join us again next year. Thank you again from all of us at iDaph Events and the Lelia Patterson Center.

Capturing Hunter Subaru’s LPC Triathlon from every angle

The 2013 Hunter Subaru LPC Triathlon is pleased to announce the return of John Neff, Photographer to capture race day this year through photos and video.

Check out Neff’s video of the 2012 LPC Triathlon:


If you have not yet registered to participate in this fantastic event for individuals and families alike, now’s your chance to Register Online!

Learn more visiting our LPC Triathlon Event Page, and our Detailed Event Info Page

Family Finds Fun in Fitness at the LPC Triathlon

DSC_0089Marissa Hagan remembers thinking that, “triathlons were for real athletes,” when her mom first pitched the idea of their whole family participating in Henderson county’s first triathlon, the Hunter Subaru-LPC Triathlon, last year. Mary Beth Hagan saw the triathlon as a family goal to accomplish, and a good way for them to bond all while improving their fitness.

The training process was challenging for them, especially the swimming and biking, which the family was not as familiar with. Marissa remembers swimming in the LPC pool and one of the


lifeguards there volunteered to help her improve her stroke. Mary Beth said the first time she tested out the bike route she thought she was going to die but, training as family helped though and they were able to motivate each other.

When race day came on August 19, 2012, the whole family was able to complete the race. Which was Mary Beth and Marissa’s main goal. Mitchell on the other hand had a different goal. He just wanted to beat his father, Michael, which he did by 15 seconds. The triathlon gave the Hagan family a unique but successful way of bonding. They felt a since of accomplishment not just as individuals, but as a family. DSC_0419


The second annual event will be held at the Lelia Patterson Fitness Center (LPC) in Fletcher, NC on Sunday, August 18th, 2013. The Hunter Subaru – LPC Triathlon features an easy 200 yard pool swim at the beautiful LPC, a 17.5 mile challenging bike course on quiet, country roads and a rolling 5k run. Daphne Kirkwood, director of iDaph Events created this triathlon with all level of Athletes in mind.

We encourage both individuals and relay teams to participate. In the LPC Triathlon Team Competition, you don’t have to be a three-sport athlete to be in the triathlon. You can pick whichever sport is your best event and just swim, just bike, or just run for a team.”

New this year! The LPC Kid’s Multi Sport Splash n’ Dash, the final event in the Carolina Kid’s MultiSport series brought to you by Hunter Subaru, is designed to promote an active, healthy lifestyle for the youth in the Carolinas and to introduce them to multi-sport events. This event will consist of various swim and run distances depending on age categories and experience levels for youth and kids.

Click here to learn more about and register for the LPC Triathlon!

Click here to learn more and register for the LPC Kid’s Splash n’ Dash

LPC Triathlon: Three ways to support a cause!

LPCposter2013Henderson County’s second annual LPC Triathlon will kick off Sunday, August 18th at the Lelia Patterson Center (LPC) in Fletcher, NC. The Hunter Subaru – LPC Triathlon is a perfect event to challenge yourself and features an easy 200 yard pool swim at the beautiful LPC, a 17.5 mile challenging bike on quiet country roads and a rolling 5k run.

A portion of the race proceeds, including race entry fees, will benefit the LPC swim program for underprivileged children.

First 175 registered participants guaranteed a race t-shirt!

We are excited to also offer team registrations for both 2 and 3 person teams. We encourage both individuals and relay teams to participate. In the LPC Triathlon Team Competition, you don’t have to be a three-sport triathlete to be in the triathlon. You can pick whichever sport is your best event and just swim, just bike, or just run for a team.

Additional information is available on the LPC Triathlon event page and the LPC Triathlon Facebook page and online registration is now open at imATHLETE.  For additional information, please email:  events@idaph.net.


Sign up for both the Asheville Triathlon and the LPC Triathlon and get $10 off! Use this code: AVLLPC2013 at checkout on imathlete to claim savings!



**NEW in 2013 — The LPC Triathlon will host a Kid’s Splash n Dash that same Sunday, August 18th! More details can be found on our LPC Kid’s MultiSport event page. Registration for this event must be entered separately.**







Please sign up to volunteer at the LPC Triathlon! We’re using VolunteerSpot (the leading online signup and reminder tool) to organize our upcoming activity - here’s how it works in 3 easy steps:

1. Click this link to go to our invitation page on VolunteerSpot:


2. Enter your email address. (You will NOT need to register an account on VolunteerSpot)

3. Sign up! Choose your spots – VolunteerSpot will send you an automated confirmation and reminders. Easy!

Note: VolunteerSpot does not share your email address with anyone. If you prefer not to use your email address, please contact me and I can sign you up manually.