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The Swim

I am really rubbish at doing front crawl as I find that I just forget to breathe and end up drowning!!!! Does anyone actually do breaststroke or will it just make me look like a wally? Its only a 700m swim so I think I just need to practice.


  • rebborebbo Posts: 58

    700m for your first tri is HUGE! Well done! Most people (inc. me) start with a 200m fun event, so you should feel very chuffed. And people do breaststroke/backstroke/crawl/whatever gets them through the distance - don't worry about looking daft, because there will be plenty worse swimming than yours on show!

  • BuddyBuddy Posts: 20
    OK, now i'm thinking I should have entered the fun race instead of the sprint!
  • DOtriHarderDOtriHarder Posts: 307
    Kate Do not worry you will not be last in the swim, even if you do breaststroke. Some people do do B/R,but for future get yourself down to the local pool and join a coached swim session. get the coach to tear your stroke technique apart then work on re-building it. It is working for me.

  • madnursemadnurse Posts: 782
    14 weeks ago I struggled so badly with my frontcrawl ... but by sticking at it , getiing into a pool as often as I could. I went from barely managing a length to completing a olympic tri. The swim is the shortest part of the tri yet it is the one that most worry over most. By working on your weakness they soon become strengths. Wether you choose to swim with crawl , breaststroke or even a mix of the two (you can use any stroke you wish less back stroke) you will acheive your goals in the raace through training & practise. Gain the skills and the confidence as you train and you will go onto finish your first triathlon with ease. MY first tri was at Nantwich, I also did the sprint rather than the super sprint and actually wished the event had been longer once i got going. And besides after the swim you will have oportunity to gain many places through the bike and the run before you hit T3. there will be plenty from my club there again....watch for warington tri
  • DOtriHarderDOtriHarder Posts: 307
    Mad is right about the strokes but as yet i haven't seen anyone attempt 16 or 32 lengths of Fly, i think it may be a bit antisocial as you really take up the whole lane!

    Swim competitions are rightly hot on stroke technique and loads of rules: Tri is not although i'm not sure whether you would be disqualified for walking in the pool.

    Like most of the people here i couldn't swim more than 2 lengths f/c without choking and i couldn't jump out of the pool at the end - now catch me if you can!

  • Coming to tri as a relatively poor swimmer is what has made the sport so rewarding for me. I think I could swim one width front-crawl when I started but with a little coaching and the Total Immersion techniques I can hack out a decent distance now. Sorry to cross-threads 'cos I know this has been mentioned elsewhere on the forums - I agree that most of the TI book is "filler" but the techniques and drills really are excellent and looking at peoples "training today" it's obvious that loads of folk are following 'em.

    Anyway, Mad and DoTri are right - you may not be such a hot swimmer but you can always reel people in on the bike or the run and that's what makes the sport so cool!
  • Tim RulesTim Rules Posts: 9
    Hi Kate its Tim,

    Seriously don't worry I did my first Tri in May and I was dreading swimming the whole course in front crawl. After about 250m I swapped over to breastsroke, having looked up most of the field had also done the same.

    Just watch one thing! Obviously when you swim breastroke you use your legs a great deal. I noticed with my wetsuit on that the added bouyancy meant my legs were coming out of the water more reducing my propulsion.

    However as I say don't worry too much!, Just enjoy it. I guarantee you will have a smile from ear to ear when you finish!
  • My wife got roped into the swim leg of a triathlon and tried to swim it breaststroke - as the last post rightly put it, she found that the wetsuit provided bouyancy in unexpected places!!!

    My advice is to make sure you try swimming in your wetsuit before you try it for real

    Also don't worry about the swim - stay out of the pack at the start and enjoy it!
  • BuddyBuddy Posts: 20
    Luckily the swim is in a pool and they have said we don't need to wear a wet suit, so its one less thing to worry about!!
  • madnursemadnurse Posts: 782
    [:D] the pool you will use is a 33yrd salt water open air pool .. the saltwater will actually give you extra bouyancy and the extra length menas you can get more into your stroke before turning each end. assuming they use the same system you will swim four lenghts then duck under the ropes to swim the next four lengths in the next lane this gets repeated until you finish up in the end lane to complete your 16th lenght before getting out...bit odd but it works. T1 is right outside the pool.

  • BuddyBuddy Posts: 20
    Thanks Madnurse,

    I did read about that on the website so sounds good.
  • madnursemadnurse Posts: 782
    i did cheshire sprint in june so if i can give you any advice just ask...

  • BonusBBonusB Posts: 279
    33yrd salt water open air pool

  • madnursemadnurse Posts: 782
    yup !!!!!!!!!
  • rebborebbo Posts: 58

    did you find it helped bouyancy? I know it should have, but I didn't really notice any difference. Could be just me - my wife, who swims like a fish, said it was totally different, but I (who swims like a brick) thought it was just the same!

  • BonusBBonusB Posts: 279
    I cant recall any difference between swimming in salt water or fresh water when wearing a wet suit (or otherwise other than the open water aspect). Cept the water tastes funny after all that delicious pool water [:'(]
  • madnursemadnurse Posts: 782
    i could tell a difference ..not massively but enough to make my swim a bit quicker. that and the taste
  • Hi Kate,

    I could barely swim a couple of lengths front-crawl a couple of months ago. I've signed up for a 10 week improver class and told my coach that my goal was to compete (complete/participate) in sprint tri's. We've focussed on front-crawl technique and what a difference - I'm amazed at how much more efficient I've become. There are lots of aspects to think about and I usually forget breathing, but over the weeks it's comming together.

    My coach has given me drills and swim-sets to do in my own time which has helped my conditioning/fitness etc.

    It's by far the best, most rewarding improvement I've got from any sports coaching ever.

  • BuddyBuddy Posts: 20
    Hi Al

    In the gym that I go to they do swimming technique classes so I think I will enrol on a few of them. Sounds like a good idea

  • fatmattfatmatt Posts: 145
    kate, the most imprtant thing with the swim is to relax and not take too much out of yourself, if you keep training you'll surely be able toi build up your front crawl by september, even if it's 1 length breast stroke then one crawl, or a couple crawl and one breast etc... loads of people do breast stroke, like i said the most important thing is to relax, stretch every stroke to get the maximum distance foir the minimum number of strokes/ effort and try to keep your breathing controlled, but relax, relax relax.

    good luck

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