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Knowing how to Start from Zero is essential if you’re in a race that starts in deep water... or if you have to stop swimming to adjust your goggles, eat some Gu, or get your bearings.

To practice this in the pool, start by treading water or doing eggbeater kick away from the wall. Kick for 10 seconds or so and then put your head down and start swimming fast to the other end.

For a race that starts in deep water, Sara likes to get into a horizontal swimming position where she holds herself in place by kicking lightly and sculling or pushing backwards with her hands and arms.

When the whistle blows, she’s ready to start swimming immediately, and she works on swimming fast right away -- sprinting to the other end of the pool.

To help prepare for the unexpected, you can swim half a length, stop in the middle and tread water while you do something to adjust your goggles or work out a cramp, then start swimming again...from zero.