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Transferability of swim times

OK, I'm completely new to Tri but have entered the blenheim and london events and I've a question on the swimming stage I was hoping you could all give me your advice on.

I've never swum in a wetsuit in my life but have spent far too long in swim suit in the pool and as a result the swim stage is my strongest stage and where I aim to make the most progress through the pack.

Can anyone give me a good idea how alike pool swim times are to those in an open water tri race environment?

I understand it's considered slightly quicker to swim in a wetsuit but surely this is negated by an effective tumble turn in the pool? Not to mention the scramble at the mass start having a negative impact on a similar time.

As an example, my pool times are 08:58 for 750m and 19:11 for 1500m. Can I hope to get anywhere near this in the water? Please say yes!!

I am aware of course that I won't be putting in anywhere near the effort I would racing in the pool, 'cos I'll have to pace for the rest of the tri but I think you see my question.



  • Oops, sorry, I've just read the reast of the forum and noticed someone else has already asked the exact same question some time ago. Bad form.

    But what I was hoping for is has anyone got split times for a pool training session AND for a tri race swim leg to see the comparison?

    This would be a big help thanks in advance.
  • MGMG Posts: 470
    Firstly, they're are some pretty damn quick swim times, whats your secret?!!! Those would put you well up near the front of the pack on an olympic 1500m swim. As with the differences to open water and pool times they shouldnt differ too much cos, even with water current, that can be equaled out with a draft (swimming close to person in front). Wetsuits can give you a slight edge too. My swim times are usually better in a wetsuit, my pool time for 1500 is generally around the 24min to 24.30 and I usually do about 23.30 race. The only swim Ive done where conditions played a major role was the Brighton tri last year, very very very choppy sea swim........Good fun tho!!!![;)]
  • treefrogtreefrog Posts: 1,242
    This is an interesting point - Ok in the pool you take into account the lack of wetsuit, the pushes from the walls the black guidance tiles and the warm temperature but inthe open water there are no guiding tiles, you do have a wetsuit you have no push-offs there are hundreds or thousands battering away and on race day you are either pumped or petrified! I'm a crap swimmer and have kept quite meticulous records of Pool time, Projected time, Target time, and Actual time guess what ; pool time = actual open water time - but this may only hold for a crap swimmer
  • Hi

    My experience is similar to MG - I'm about 1.5 - 2mins faster in an open water wetsuit swim than I am in the pool (and I push as hard as I can after every turn!). The mass start actually helps you go faster because it means that everyone gets the benefits of drafting to a greater or lesser degree. Your times would put you way ahead of me, but you should still be able to find suitable people to draft against.


    p.s. whatever else, practice in open water before the race. It takes one or two goes before it feels natural and you really don't want your first open water swim to be in a race.

  • Firstly sorry for the delay in responding your all your replies, I've been too busy (that old chestnut).

    Secondly thanks for your responses, just what I was looking for, thanks!

    Thanks for the compliment MG, but if your expecting me to be out front I can't see that happening! Bear in mind that these pool times are swim race times and I'm getting out of the pool afterwards hardly in any condition to walk to the transition area let alone run to it and get on a bike afterwards.

    Also if I get a head-start on the swim, you can safely expect to fly past me on the subsequent bike and run sections!!

    Anyway, thanks for the advice chaps.
  • jayjayjayjay Posts: 10
    i disagree with what MG said about the swim times being maybe somewhat unrealistic. I focus mainly on swimming and my times are around the same. While my cycling and running are not good at all. Also, there are other people in my squad that swim alot faster than i do. Sounds like dangermouse is a natural athlete.
  • MGMG Posts: 470
    Err, I think your getting the wrong end of the stick here Jayjay. I was complimenting dangermouse on his swim times not questioning them. Those are fairly fast swim times for an age grouper not unrealistic in the slightest, and good enough to put him in the top 20% on swim times for an olympic distance triathlon........
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