By Jené Shaw
Exiting the open water is an often overlooked part of the transition from swim to bike. Many seconds can be gained and lost, so technique and planning are important.
Sara McLarty thinks about the swim exit in six steps:
Step 1: Swim toward the finish. Know the course and find tall buildings or trees to sight that are in line with the swim exit.
Step 2: Activate your legs. Kick a little extra during the last 200 meters of the swim.
Step 3: Keep swimming! Don't stop or stand up until you have run aground in the shallow water. When your fingers scrape the bottom, take a few more strokes by pulling right under your torso.
Step 4: Stand up and lift your goggles onto your forehead. This action clears your vision as you start to run out of the water.
Step 5: Unzip your wetsuit on solid ground. Running through sand and rocks is hard enough. Wait until you reach carpeting or pavement to search for that strap!
Step 6: Take off your cap and goggles when you see your bike. Abandonment of equipment can result in a penalty, so don't risk dropping these small items.