Traditionally, triathlons involve an open water swim… so for a non-swimmer like me, an open water course is REALLY intimidating. It’s one of the main reasons why I didn’t try triathlon sooner.
My first triathlon is this weekend and I am so thankful that it is a pool-based swim. I’m finally feeling confident with swimming, but swimming in open water seems like it’d be a totally different ball game.
I’ll be racing at the Crystal Palace Triathlon this Sunday. I watched Dan race there two years ago so I semi-know what to expect… It’ll be a time trail start (one-by-one), during the pool swim we’ll be zig-zagging into a new lane each lap, the transition will be wobbly for me as I’m still not quick at getting my clips in, the cycle is 9 laps which means there is a high chance I will loose count and the run is a 5k loop with the finish line in the stadium – what could possibly go wrong?????
I am super nervous, really excited and also feeling a little unprepared…
If you’re looking to get into the sport of Triathlon, but the concept of open water swimming puts you off, check out a pool-based triathlon instead.
What you’ll need to know for the swim…
- Predicted swim time. Swimmers are released fastest to slowest to avoid a lot of overtaking in the pool. Having an accurate swim time will ensure you are going a similar pace to those around you. Avoid a frustrating swim and time yourself before racing.
- Swim lanes. Get familiar with the swim route – clockwise/ counter-clockwise.
- Warm-up. It is unlikely that you will have the chance to warm up in the pool. Do a series of dynamic stretches to get yourself ready for the race.
- Overtaking. Not everyone predicts their swim time accurately. If you need to overtake a swimmer, tap their toes and pass when you have a safe opportunity. If your toes are tapped, move to the side as much as possible so there is enough space for the swimmer behind you to get by safely.
Dan shared the picture below with me – it’s the Tri London group at last year’s Crystal Palace race. I’ve joined the club this year and am looking forward to joining this crazy bunch next weekend!