View Full Version : open water triathalon

May 25th, 2005, 11:17 AM
Hi--I am going to do the swim portion of an olympic distance triathalon on July 10. (1.5km) It is an open water swim in a lake known for pretty cold water. I was a solid distance swimmer (1500, 1650, 1000, 800 etc. . .) through college. I'm in shape I run bike and lift however I have not swum regularly in quite some time. Any suggestions on getting ready for the swim? :) I have pool access. Only 6 weeks to get ready. . . .

May 25th, 2005, 04:57 PM
I suggest you get back in the pool asap and alternate longer swims with some intervals.
You should definitely practice in open water and plan a basic strategy for your start. If you know someone who has swum the course ask them about landmarks to assist you in staying on course or go to the lake before hand and check it out.
If you are wearing a wetsuit, swim in it beforehand so you get use to the feel. Some restrict chest expansion or arm extention if you don't have a good fit.
The swim start (first 400yards or so)in the tri can get crazy...be prepared and stay relaxed and find some friendly feet to follow.
Good Luck!

May 25th, 2005, 05:38 PM
What about wetsuits? They are recommended for this triathalon. Water temp generally around 66F. I have a full length farmer john that I use for sea kayaking that fits really well. I think it is a 3mm. Alittle too thick perhaps but I've swum in it before just not in a race. Would this be OK? It just seems counterintuitive to me that a wetsuit would speed you up not slow you down. . .that is after growin' up in a pool and all.

May 26th, 2005, 08:03 AM
I would recommend a wetsuit for temps below the low 70's.
Wetsuits help all swimmers swim faster by keeping you on top without effort (and saving your legs for the bike/run),it helps those with bad form more than those with good form but a good suit will lower your time and keep you comfortable. I would try the wetsuit out in the pool if you can. Do a set of 100's or 200's with and without and see if it makes a difference. The wetsuits made for swimming have different thicknesses at different locations.
You can get the specs at their websites to compare to what you have. Use some kind of lube around your neck and below you
armpits the suit will probably rub after awhile.

Rob Copeland
May 26th, 2005, 09:00 AM
Frank is correct. Wetsuits will absolutely speed you up, provided they are well fitted to your body. Wetsuits that are too tight across the chest can restrict breathing (not a good thing) and those designed general ocean use (surfing, kayaking…and not triathletes) may not provide for full range of motion through the shoulders and some of these don’t seal well around the neck and arms (having you wetsuit balloon up with water is an interesting visual but not conducive to speed).

And as Frank stated remember the BodyGlide to lube up any hot spots. Also as Frank suggested get in the water and train, try out the wetsuit in some race pace swims. And if possible get in some open water training or at least get to the race site the day before and spend an hour or in the water getting acclimated to the conditions and swim the course to get used to the turns.

debby golob
July 12th, 2005, 01:47 PM
i have swam many open water events, by the time you race the water temp may be warm enough to not use a wetsuit. i suggest that if you have not used one before and seem strong enough without it dont. unless you are very thin and don't float well. Also try to swim the course if you can. if not, do one open water swim a week at least. try to sight a straight line when swimming 3 strokes then head up like a water polo player to sight repeat etc.
also of needless swimming and time wasted is do to swimming off course. good luck
if your quite strong start dead center front row
if not stay on the outside of the group and try to stay with the first pack out

July 29th, 2005, 12:19 PM
Hey- how did you do?