Home Chat General Chat

Newbie - need some confidence after 1st tri

Ok. So firstly this is my first post on this forum.

I am 43 year old female -who has a bmi of 25, who has been running for 3.5 years and did my first road bike route in march. I decided to do a triathlon in January and started doing front crawl at the end of Feb when i could do 1/2 a length before I had to stop!

On Sunday I did my first Tri of 400m, 20k bike, 5km run on sunday (pool based).

I have tried to read the stuff in the magazine 220 but have to say I find most of it way beyond the level that I am at, and find the lack of training plans in the magazines frustrating. Everything , advice or otherwise seems to be aimed at people who are way better, fitter and faster that me and I find it frustrating that someone like myself who is keen to do this sport, get involved and get better cant find the articles or help and advice at my level.

I did my first tri in 1 hour 37 minutes which was 15 minutes faster than i thought I would do.
I know from the articles I have been able to find that this is not even close to what most of you guys do - most articles i see talk about doing a 750/25/5 in around 1 hour 15 - which is really intimidating for me. Great that you guys are so fast (very jealous!!) but are there others who are at my level ???......

I can say that at my first event I found everyone I met, most of whom looked like elite althletes compared to me !! were extremely friendly and helpful - so my faith and hope that this is a right sport for me to invest in was restored.

Just need to find some help, advice and support aimed at the times and level of ability I am at.

My swim in my first tri was awful !! I nearly got out at 8 lengths but stuck it out. I finished in 13 mins 30 and am up for any advice or guidance as to how I can /should improve this ?

Also, what event should i enter next - another short sprint or do a 750/25/5 and to push myself to get to the next level ?

thanks for any input


  • risris Posts: 1,002
    well done for finishing that first race!

    if you are looking for people who swim like bricks then you aren't alone here. there's even a club dedicated to the back-of-packers which make tri the fun sport it is.

    sod comparing yourself to the zippy go-faster kiddies, with their 18min 5km run times - tri is about challenging yourself and finding out what you can achieve with hard work and perseverance. it is also about identifying the easiest way to trash your finances.

    i would say that you should do whatever race you want to do - if you feel that taking on the 750/25/5 is what will spur you on then go for it! train for it and finish with a smile! nothing wrong with sticking with the shorter swim format, though (most of my sprints have been 400 swims, there aren't many 750's in pools round my way).
  • LegacyUserLegacyUser Posts: 0
    thanks....am thinking of an open water....like the idea of assistance from a wet suit and that if I focus on 750m distance I can gain the confidence to sign up for my ultimate goal of an olympic....mad I know but my OCD is needing goals!!

    Is there a forum or area where the other 'bricks' meet /discuss/help/etc each other !!!
  • risris Posts: 1,002
    yep, in my sig... the bcttt!

    open water is a great way to swim, and the wettie can help with adding bouyancy for the more 'brickish' paddler. nothing wrong with having the goal of olympic distance if it gets you focussed and you train for it. there are a few pool oly's around, but most are ow that i've seen.

    in terms of your original question of how to improve your swimming - best thing is probably some lessons/club coached stuff, where your technique can be seen and worked on at the same time you work on distance. swimming is massively technique-based, and you can easily expend a huge amount of energy making waves and not going very far. you can get 1-1 sessions and video analysis as well, and some people might recommend that.
  • jonEjonE Posts: 1,113
    +1 to what Ris said,
    forget what others do,it is an individual sport,where you set your own goals,and generally compete against yourself by trying to improve your times,each course is different so times between them are not really comparable,and your position in the results table depends on who is racing.

    Two years ago,I persuaded a work colleague to enter a tri,he was the slowest in the swim,exiting the water in 15 mins after doing every swimstroke possible,the following year his time had dropped,and he is looking at sub 9 this year.

    If you want to progress then set a time scale,look at events for the year and plot a training plan suitable for your lifestyle,OW is a natural progression in triathlon,and some actual prefer ow to pool swimming.

    Best of luck,
    as Ris said,drop over to the website he suggests and introduce yourself.
  • Well done on finishing your first Tri, just enjoy them the tri bug will take over and then you will become a slave to everything Tri related.
  • ZacniciZacnici Posts: 1,385
    All of the above - and well done.

    The swim is often the weakest discipline for most of us so you are not alone.

    Suggest you join a local tri club that has coaching, don't worry there will be all sorts of abilities and newbies like yourself. With just a little coaching you will find an inprovement, with that improvement comes increased confidence.

    Suggest another similar event as a confidence booster but yes by all means look to extend yourself and an OW is a great first step on that journey. Even though I am a weak swimmer I prefer OW events but they do present different challenges.

    Good luck
  • BlinkybazBlinkybaz Posts: 1,144
    Ah the joys of being new! I remember it well!

    Its great to hear you fionished your first tri and dont worry about times it all about you and your own goals!

    The other forum is a collection of peeps with like minded ideas and out looks on triathlon. You would be sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo welcomed there. You mkight see a few names from here.!!

    And plus one for what RIS said!
  • kirkbykirkby Posts: 17
    well done, I took a private lesson with my kids swim teacher at the local swim club, she picked up on all my faults staight away. I am now working on a couple of these and will have more lessons in the future and at £10 for half hour and entry to the open session at pool in is great value. This is something you could consider if can't get to any clubs for help.
  • ZacniciZacnici Posts: 1,385
    Excellent - we shall be looking forward to your next race report
  • LegacyUserLegacyUser Posts: 0
    Thanks to everyone for the input and suggestions.

    Have contacted a coach who does total immersion and ordered the Tri bible and total immersion books from amazon. Have found a 400m open water swim in Bedford in July, will do the club tri on the same course I have just completed in September and would like to sign up for a 750m open water swim at the end of September - but will see how my swimming improves over the next few weeks before paying money for that one !!

    I am a member of a tri club - friendly but not much coaching, although the swim with the others is good as the drills push me (Everyone else is very good)

    Will check out the site you suggest

    Thanks again to you all and here's to my next Tri and better swim !!
  • durhamvamdurhamvam Posts: 246

    Sounds like you're doing really well to me!

    I don't have anything to add that hasn't already been said before only you're definitely not alone out there - I've been known to cycle so slowly up hills that people overtake me running and I run so slowly that my predicted half marathon time based on my Vdot (it doesn't really matter) is slower than my real walking half marathon time - go figure!

    And I've not quite come last yet - I even won one once by being the only woman to turn up!

  • 101SUSY101SUSY Posts: 53
    Agree with all that, just race for yourself and enjoy it. I bet you felt great after didn't you ?
  • pippip Posts: 170
    Well done on completing your first tri and 1hour 37mins is in no way a bad time for your first tri.As said before lots of the guys on this site struggle with there swim and i'm no different.I can swim breastroke at the same speed as my front crawl so don't be too concerned about breastroking your way round(i do swim crawl on the longer swims tho to save my legs).Most of us do tri's as a personal challenge and to keep fit,not to win.So you've set yourself your 1st target of 1 hour 37.Next year enter the same race and try and knock 5 mins off your time,or more if you think you can.Remember if world class athletes could knock 5 mins off their time they'd be bloody delighted.So keep at it and enjoy.Good luck
Sign In or Register to comment.