Home Training for a Triathlon

First time swimming in 25 years

Hello, I have been talked in to taking part in a triathlon, which I am now looking forward to.

I cycle about 20 miles a week on average already, with occasional rides up to about 50/60 miles.

I haven't been swimming for 25 years since I was at school, where my maximum ever distance was around 25/50m!!

My question please is I'm going swimming for the first time next week, how far (roughly) should I realistically expect to be able to swim based on the above level of fitness.

It would just be good to have a rough idea of what to expect.

Of course, fully expecting to have to take things one step at a time, etc.

Thank you in advance.


  • Hi, my first post but I recently signed up for my first tri too and started swimming as this was the most worrying part. I hadn't done front crawl for 20 years and I could barely do 20m using what I could remember, despite being fairly fit, as I was kicking too much tiring my legs and breathing too much - exactly how I was taught at school.

    My advice is don't just jump in and try to swim how you remember. Look up Total Immersion online and follow the technique drills. It teaches you to swim with less effort for triathlon and I found I could do 400m straight within a couple of weeks. 

    Good luck!

  • I really recommend that you join a Tri club. In our Tri Club in Salisbury, there are quite a few people who are just like you; we have coached swimming sessions, aimed at helping people to improve their technique. Not everyone in a tri club is a super fit elite athlete, the majority of people are just ordinary, average people, even the really good athletes will spend time to encourage the others.

    If you don't want to join a tri club look on line at Swim Smooth or Speedo teaching videos. Rather than going back to old, poor technique, try to focus on developing a good technique. focus on one aspect, swim 2 lengths and have a 30 second rest, and repeat 10 time, don't worry about speed focus on technique. Try to get in the pool for 30 minutes 2 or 3 times a week, and you will make very rapid progress

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