Home Chat General Chat

Swim times and sprint advice

Hi there.

I'm another brand spanking newbie to the triathlon world having just signed myself up for the London Olympic distance in August, and I was hoping someone might be able to help me guage where I am?

Just started training (not even decided on a road bike yet!), but I was hoping someone could give me some advice on comparing pool based swim times with an open water job? I am currently swimming 1500m in a 25m pool in around 21 mins - any idea how much I'll realistically need to add to that outdoors and in a wetsuit?

I'd also love to do a sprint event as part of the build-up to London, anyone got any suggestions about a fun event to sign up for that'll help me prepare for the big one? (I am London based so something fairly local would be ideal).

Thanks guys!



  • Options
    artikartik Posts: 26
    To get a realistic time the best thing to do is to try it out, look for some clubs and events in your area - practice will give you the confidence you need.

    If you cant do that right now!! then do a mile with no tumble turns, with your eyes shut and lift your head out the water to see where you are going.

    A few things you will need to consider with open water swims versus pool swims -

    The start - can be hard to keep your rythum because of other triathletes arms and legs and the melee that goes on.. Have you ever done water polo then that is good training ground. In a pool you have your own space.

    Sighting - Once you have your own space you then need to sight the buoys which is a lot of practice - you need to keep your rythym there too.. In a pool you can see underwater.

    The cold - does take your breath away and your breathing needs control. The pool is comfortable.

    Wetsuits -Take a bit of getting used to...

    Pace - remember you have the bike and run to follow.....

    If you like swimming open water swims are the greatest -
  • Options
    bennybenny Posts: 1,314
    I too have to advise some open water practice, cause there is quite a difference to the pool (see Artik's post). But once you're used to it, you'll long for the open water season, you'll love open water!!

    Are you from a swimming background?? Your swim splits in the pool are quite good.

    I swim 1500M in a bit less then 26minutes. My open water time is actually a bit better ( I'm terrible at turning in the pool and I guess the wetsuit helps your bouyancy in open water a lot).

  • Options
    timftimf Posts: 15
    Thanks for that guys.

    Was hoping to try and get down to Tooting Bec Lido for a few sessions in a wetsuit (once I've bought one) as I know it's damn cold in there (doing the World outdoor swim champs there next week - only 25m and I'm terrified!), and there won't be many turns to affect things in a 100m pool, hoping that may give me a bit more of an idea.

    No swim background really (swam for a club for a year when 13 but that's about it), but hoping it stands me in a decent position for the rest as I'm a pedestrian runner at the best of times and never been on a road bike in my life before.......

    Any thoughts on a good sprint as a preparation?
  • Options
    timftimf Posts: 15
    ......erm......well......don't quite know how to put this but......red faced as it's possible to be here - I just took a colleague at face value when they told me the pool at work (schoolteacher) was 25m......well it turns out it isn't!

    Did think it was strange that my times seemed to be so spectacular - I've only been swimming 1200m! Sorry.

    Off to hide for really quite a long time now!

  • Options
    insideinside Posts: 22
    Hi Tim - You have perhaps learnt the most important lesson of all

    ...Make sure you know the course...

  • Options
    timftimf Posts: 15
    Yeah - I'll take that!

    By the way, I also run a training course - 'How to look a fool on your first day at school'

    As you can tell I'm an expert!
  • Options

    Would not be too ashamed re the pool mix up - I would be happy with that time for 1200m let alone 1500m.

    As to decent sprint events, I would highly recommend the Thames Turbo race series - there are 4 races on the bank holiday Mondays over the year - 24 March, 5 May, 26 May and late August. Very well organised and you can (hopefully) track your progression over the series. I found this a very undaunting first Tri and a good way of getting used to transition without too much pressure. Plus the distances involved (426m/21K/5K) are pretty user-friendly for a first Tri. You can get all the info you need re the race (with a decent race pack) and enter online here: http://www.thamesturbo.co.uk/memberforum/portal.php


  • Options
    timftimf Posts: 15
    Thanks for that lfc! I'm not TOO embarassed - in all honesty, it's the kind of mistake I make all the time!

    Thanks for the advice about the sprint series - I'll have a look into them - Hampton's pretty handy for me too so I'll definitely try and get there for at least one of them.
  • Options
    LuckyLucky Posts: 137
    For a sprint series I'd recommend the F3 Events evening series at Dorney Lake, certainly makes for a great training session if nothing else.

    And if you do one of them and see an idiot at the back of the swim alternating between breast and crawl then it's me, and my winter training hasn't paid off.
  • Options
    timftimf Posts: 15
    Thanks for that - I'll check that out as well.

    And if that's you, I'll be the one swimming for around 2.30 mins and then wondering why I haven't finished yet!
Sign In or Register to comment.