Im new to triathlon and am interested to know how fast (or slow) triathletes like yourselves tend to swim 400m when training and how this may vary during competition.
My swim is based on 1000m, it takes me just over 20 minutes to do them, for the mile I am slower again, 33 minutes average. My 100m split times are 1.53 seconds so on average for 400m it should take me 7.32 minutes. Needless to say that it doesn't always go to plan. You will find that there are days that you will just sink like a stone when you go for a swim and others that you could swim the Atlantic.
Importantly you need to get your breathing and technique right first, after that the rest should fall into place.
My swim sessions are coached sessions and most of the time we swim shorter distances faster. Lots of 100m, 50m and 25m sprints and repeats. My 400m time has come down from over 8 minutes in March, to 61/2 now; before March i couldn't swim more than 2 lengths f/c without stopping and choking.
71/2 is mid pack for a 400 pool swim tri, work on stroke quality and speed/recovery. try to find a coached session, either at the local pool or with your local Tri club. Last resort, join the local swim club!
i get out of the swim near the front in most local races and would swim 400m in about 5.05, try to swim 100m intervals at slightly faster than your target time with 15-20 seconds recovery. However, nothing will improve you more than making your technique more effiecient which takes time, effort and a lot of patience!
My fastest for a 400m is around 8.45. I can bang out a 100m in around 2.00, but can't keep that pace up! I just start running out of steam. I'm generally in the bottom 10-20% with a 400m time like that. I completed my first year of tri last year & the swim sessions were a bit ad hoc, just tending to jump in & swim with no real structure. This year I'm much more organised & have downloaded some swim sets off the Zoggs website & take those to the pool with me, plus have joined a tri club with coached sessions. I'm hoping to see some improvements this year as a result.