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Tri-Umphant! 10 Weeks to Your First Sprint Tri

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Surviving the Swim

Most of us feel comfortable riding a bike or heading out for a run. But swimming in open water can make even pool regulars panic. That goes double if the course is crowded, the water is cold, or the waves are choppy. Swim easily with these confidence-building tips.

Do at least two open-water practice swims.

For many first-timers, the idea of getting into a body of water that doesn't have a lane line to follow and a wall to rest at can be intimidating. But practicing can help. "The first time is scary, but the second, a lot less so," Cozik says. If possible, try to get into water that's similar to what you'll be racing in, whether it's a lake or the ocean. "Even if just the color or the taste of the water is familiar, it can help on race day," she adds. This is also a good time to try out your wet suit if you'll be wearing one. And always swim with a partner so you'll feel a little safer.

Stay to one side.

When it's your turn to hit the water in the race (which is typically in a wave-type format, where several swimmers go at once), avoid the crowd by moving toward the side that's farthest from the buoys. "Try not to get caught in the middle of the crowd, where the water can get very choppy," Cozik says.

Do whatever stroke you need to.

Freestyle is the most popular because it's generally the most efficient, but if you start to get nervous, do the breaststroke for a bit or float on your back, then return to freestyle.

Wear-test your outfit.

A good rule of thumb: Try nothing new on race day. Whether you're swimming in a tri suit, a sports bra and shorts, or a bathing suit, make sure you get in the water in your outfit at least once before the race, even if it's just to do a few laps in the pool. "My first race I wore a sports bra that ballooned with water, making it very uncomfortable to swim, and then it totally chafed me afterward," Kreideweis recalls. If you're large chested, try wearing two tops for extra support.

Remember you've got safety nets.

If you feel overwhelmed or can't catch your breath while in the water, swim over to one of the many volunteers who are likely to be stationed along the course in boats. "Most races won't penalize you if you stop, so take a few moments to calm down," Kreideweis says. When you start again, distract yourself from negative thoughts by counting your strokes from buoy to buoy, singing a song in your head, or picturing yourself crossing the finish line.

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angie1295 wrote:

I read Tri-Umphant on April 19, registered for a sprint tri the next day and started training on 5/6. I feel amazing! I've lost 8 lbs, shed a ton of fat from my back/arms and am probably in the best shape I have ever been in during my almost 48 yrs - better than when I was 20! I've even been inspired to register for my first half-marathon. Thanks for an awesome article, a great training program and for inspiring me to reach for even greater heights of achievement!

6/21/2013 12:34:43 PM Report Abuse
r127allen wrote:

Laura, my name is Twinki and I have been cycling for now 2mos. and @ 1st,. I was losing weight, but now, my legs still have fat, and cellulite and the weight loss is at a stand still, what should I do? before going any further... I am going to start swimming,and jogging and thinking about putting my bike to rest a few.... What do you think???

5/31/2013 08:20:36 PM Report Abuse
paulphonix784 wrote:

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4/29/2013 09:13:33 PM Report Abuse
vincentdennis683 wrote:

If you think Cheryl`s story is neat..., last month my daughter in-law basically got a cheque for 9733 sitting there ninteen hours a week from their apartment and their best friend's sister`s neighbour was doing this for 5 months and brought in over 9733 in there spare time from there computer. follow the instructions on this link...........

4/29/2013 06:05:30 PM Report Abuse
sarah.c.mcdani1 wrote:

I love the 10 week training plan and it showed up in my mailbox literally the day after I decided to do my first tri! But I have a few questions about the workouts. SWIM: what is a easy, kick, and fast definitions and what is considered recovered (i.e. back to resting hr?). BIKE: what is the recommended distance of the hill in the "hill repeats"? RUN: in "speed repeats" how should I gauge "fast"? Thanks so much for the additional insight :)

4/17/2013 12:36:53 AM Report Abuse

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