Rookie Tri question

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Anonymous's picture

I am doing my 1st triathlon this Sunday, the sprint tri up in Old Greenwich. I have been running and cycling for a few months, but haven't done any swimming (the decision to do the race was last minute, obviously. I have grown tired of long runs and bikes and needed a race).

How hard will it be for me to do the 1/2 mile swim? I can swim, but haven't done any swim training. I'm just not sure what to compare it to (is it equivalent to just up and doing a 10K run with no training; uncomfortable but doable)?


Anonymous's picture
Judith Tripp (not verified)
Half mile swim

I'd say that as long as you can breathe you will be OK. If you can't breathe, can you switch to breast stroke or back stroke? If yes, again OK. Do not panic and try not to get mixed up in the crowd.

Anonymous's picture
Basil (not verified)

Agree with Judith's comments. Hang back at the start if it's a big/mass start (we had 2,000 starting together in Lake Placid recently - you definitely want to hang back if you're not a strong swimmer or you get trampled on).
If you're wearing a wet suit, that makes it very easy to survive - gives you more buoyancy so you can just amble along at a comfortable pace doing whatever stroke comes easily.

Anonymous's picture
Tim (not verified)

I think I'll be able to breathe ok, and I definitely plan on switching to the breast stroke for a break. I won't be wearing a wetsuit; I haven't bought one yet. The race info. says you can wear one but won't be eligible for awards (not that I will be any way since I'll be last out of the water!)
Thanks for the suggestions; I'll definitely hang in the back and take it slow.

Anonymous's picture
Fred Cohen (not verified)

Hi Tim:

You may not be last out of the water as I will be there doing my first Tri also. I'll be in the men over 40 heat.

Like you, I too will not be wearing a wetsuit. The water is warm enough to do without anyway.

Hope to see you there.

Anonymous's picture
Cori Packard (not verified)

I did my first 1/2 mile swim int he LI sound in june. i had been training alot in the ppool, but bottom line is swimming for tris has nothing to do with swimming ability. it has to do with being calm, not being scared of getting splashed, being able to avoid flailing arms and legs, and BREATHING. if u get nervous, honestly, my best advice is go under water and just'll be fine. the race doesnt really start until you get out of the water...

Anonymous's picture
Fred Cohen (not verified)
I had a similar experience.

What a great day!

Like you, I had a disastrous swim.

I took off like a speeding bullet for about 100 yards.

At that point the other swimmers around me were so aggressive, grabbing and shoving, that I couldn't move! I swallowed a ton of water and felt very much like I was going to drown. I couldn't move at all.

Rather than quit, which I seriously considered, I sidestroked away from the crowd and hobbled towards the first buoy.

By the time I got to the third buoy, several of the women from the next heat had overtaken me, but I was finally back to an easy freestyle stroke and started overtaking the slower men like crazy.

Got out of the water feeling wiped out(but at least not drowned) and then couldn't get my shirt on either.

Finally on the bike, I really came alive. I was passing everyone in sight. I zipped up Palmer Hill so easily I had to shout to one of the volunteers to make sure I had really overcome that hurdle.

Got into a one on one race with a guy on a Canondale Tri bike, but eventually got past him too.

Then on to the run.

My legs fely like lead at first.

Some really strong looking women runners flew by me early on, and I started to feel like I was losing ground again.

But then those same runners started to give out and I was getting progressively faster and passing people.

The final stretch of soft sand was really challenging, but I turned up the heat and passed another 4 or 5 people going in to the finish.

All in all, a terrific race.

I think you and I showed a lot of heart toughing out the swim leg!

On to the Mighty Hamptons Olympic distance Sept. 19th.

Anonymous's picture
Tim (not verified)

I would definitely say we had similar experiences. I just looked at the results and you beat me by 4 seconds!

Anonymous's picture
Fred Cohen (not verified)
I had a similar experience. (nm)
Anonymous's picture
Alan Resnick (not verified)
swim start

recommendation is to start at the side of your wave(at the outside end away from the shortest point where everyone will be fighting)-this way you can swim at your own pace, but outside and away from the majority of the wave. Make sure you keep checking on the line of swimmers heading for the first buoy-so that YOU do not go off course(by much)-remember to keep checking on the line of swimmers and look for the buoys-as long as you can see lots of swimmers to near your side you will be going in the right direction-however if you get alone-you probably are lost so look around if that happens have fun Alan

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