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Beginner Triathlon

Open water swim (Sprint Tri) question

posted about 2 years ago | Report

Swimmers-I heard from a seasoned swimmer yesterday that in order to swim 500m in the ocean (open water) you need to be able to swim double that (1000m) in the pool to account for the waves, current, etc. What's your take on this?

  • not sure about double but with open water swims there is no black line to follow and would allow for 'extra' distance due to navigation issues. but if you can do double you will be more than ready

    posted about 2 years ago

  • if you can tread water to rest don't worry about a sprint swim. give it hell and have fun.

    posted about 2 years ago

  • yes, I can tread water. I'll just keep pushing the distance and hope for the best!

    posted about 2 years ago

  • If at all possible get in a couple of open water swims before your race...everyone is different but for me the shock of OWS versus the pool was something else. I could easily swim double the distance of my sprint in a pool but that didn't take away the shock I felt when I put my face into the water during a swim workout right before my first tri. Of course, if you are already very comfortable being in open water you are not going to have to make that adjustment. I will say the swim on my second event was a thousand times better for me.

    posted about 2 years ago

  • My understanding is that you should be able to do about 1.5x times the actual swim distance before your first open water swim. If you can do that type of distance then you should feel comfortable in the water on race day. I did my first open water swim three weeks ago. It was a 750m lake swim and I made sure I could do 1200m in the pool before the race. Best of Luck!

    posted about 2 years ago

  • I don't think that's a fair conversion. I trained in a pool for my first tri, but because I grew up at the beach and learned how to swim in the ocean, 500m in a lake didn't feel too much more challenging to me.

    However, if you can get to open water, even once, that would be optimal. It IS more tiring than pool swimming. In addition, you don't get that tiny rest every 25 yards that you do when you do in a pool, and if you are not good at blindly swimming in a straight line, you may wind up swimming some extra distance.

    For me, the first 100m or so was awful I couldn't see and was having trouble getting a rhythm down. However, after that, it felt AWESOME.

    If you can swim 1000m, whether it is necessary or not, the endurance WILL benefit you.

    posted over 1 year ago

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