stupid question about tri swim

help please!

15 messages
04/07/2005 at 10:26
Ok, I've got my first sprint tri with a pool swim next weekend. I had no idea what time to enter for the expected swim time as I have been swim training for eight weeks and entered over a month ago. I wrote 8:30 for the 400m as that seemed reasonable.

Well, I *can* swim 400m in 8:45 in training, just swimming steadily - including three 15 sec breaks, one at the end of every 100m. And that's the problem, I don't think I can swim 400m non-stop - or rather, how much slower I'll be if I don't stop.

Are there any rules on stopping in a pool swim? There are 3 other people in my lane. I guess if I stopped I'd do so for 10 secs every 3 lengths (it's a 33m pool) - and then I know I can easily do the swim in the expected time. If I keep going I'm concerned I'll slow down so much that I'll hold everyone up.

Please advise, I'm getting a bit worried about all of this now... it seemed like a really good idea, start swimming, start cycling, do a tri two months later, and now I realise just how underprepared I am, and how cr@p I am at swimming and cycling (I already knew about the running!).

oh - and another stupid question, whilst I'm embarrassing myself - do you dry yourself before getting on the bike? If not, aren't you very cold on the bike?
04/07/2005 at 10:29
yes - you can stop - and nothing to say you can't..........but do so at the pool ends and not like I saw a novice at Stratford Tri last year half way down the lane and hanging on to the lane marker!!!!!!!!

and no - most triathletes climb onto the bike wet - if you have good tri kit it dries quickly anyway........BUT that all depends on the weather...........if freezing cold you'd dry and pull some warmer kit on........is why tri is mainly a summer event!
WildWill    pirate
04/07/2005 at 10:33
Dont worry - if you ned to stop at the end of the lane then do so - just make sure you stay out of others road by parsing in the corner of the lane - i have seen many peeps do this

once again - dont work - just enjoy


Youll finish with a big grin and be addicted

:o)
04/07/2005 at 10:45
phew! Thanks guys, a huge relief!

Stopping in the middle?!?!? Yikes. No, I'd definitely stop at the end - preferably the shallow end!

Well, it's certainly going to be an experience. I don't have a clue as to what I'm doing or aiming for. I've no idea how to tackle the bike section, so this could all go horribly wrong! On the other hand, I'm doing this as a test run to see what I need to do in future. I just wish I could wear L plates or something, so that people would know to give me a wide berth!
04/07/2005 at 11:18
just go with the flow and let it happen...........don't try and hammer the bike leg as many peeps do (something I am often guilty of!) so you leave something in your legs for the run.......and don't worry about times
cougie    pirate
04/07/2005 at 11:20
Blimey Snail - you're a lot faster than me.

Have fun.
04/07/2005 at 11:27
If I was you I'd would try this week to force yourself not too stop just the once for that distance.

I tend to find that once you keep going for the first few lengths it gets easier, the first 6-10 are always tough for some reason, I guess it's like waiting for that moment in running when your 2nd wind comes in and you are warmed up sufficiently for you body to burn the fuel efficiently.
04/07/2005 at 12:01
No need for L plates.
If people want to overtake you they should tap your foot, and you stop at the end and let them turn first. Well thats what I was told on my first time.
It takes about 300-400m to get warmed up so take it easy!
04/07/2005 at 12:07
Good luck for the tri snail - and smart move going for a pool swim for your first event.

I found my swimming came along much quicker once I broke through the 150m mark. As Avalaf says, the first 6-10 lengths are hard work, but after that it seems to get easier. Maybe it's lack of blood going to your brain or something. You no longer feel the pain...
04/07/2005 at 12:10
I'm one of those who had to stop in my first few swims and indeed still pause occasionally on the turn. Don't worry about it at all.

Enjoy.
04/07/2005 at 13:45
thanks everyone!

Cougie - I'm very fast for someone who hasn't regularly swum for more than a decade - over 25m! I'm still pretty fast over 50m but then after that... :-) I also have very good endurance, in that I can quite happily swim for 2 hours, just taking a 20 sec break every 100m. Unfortunately I can't combine speed and endurance...

Avalaf, I've been trying to build up over the past two weeks - I got to 7 lengths of a 25m pool yesterday but had slowed considerably, which is when I realised that it might actually be a bit faster to pause briefly if possible. One of those awful moments when you persevere in running up a hill mid-race, only to realise that those who've decided to walk are actually overtaking you...

At least whatever happens I'll get a PB, so it's in my own interests not to do too well!!!
JRM
04/07/2005 at 14:52
Snail
You sound like you have the endurance to swim a long way, so it may be that you need to look at your breathing if you are having to stop every 100m. If you are gasping for air then it is likely that your breathing isn't quite right.

When I first started swimming front crawl my lungs would feel like they were bursting after about 2 or 3 lengths and I would be forced to stop. This was despite being aerobically in very good shape. Now I can swim 2 miles plus without stopping and this is virtually all attributable to getting my breathing right.
JRM
04/07/2005 at 14:53
Snail
You sound like you have the endurance to swim a long way, so it may be that you need to look at your breathing if you are having to stop every 100m. If you are gasping for air then it is likely that your breathing isn't quite right.

When I first started swimming front crawl my lungs would feel like they were bursting after about 2 or 3 lengths and I would be forced to stop. This was despite being aerobically in very good shape. Now I can swim 2 miles plus without stopping and this is virtually all attributable to getting my breathing right.

Good luck in the race and one tip: DONT START TOO FAST. You'll be so pumped up that you'll probably blast off without realising. You may need to actively think about going easy!
04/07/2005 at 15:17
The breathing seems to be absolutely fine, I've always breathed every three strokes which suits me well. It's my arms that get knackered! I have quite good upper body strength from doing weights, and to get speed I pull hard rather than increasing the stroke rate, but it's like doing weights - I could do lots of light reps, or just a few heavy ones. There's no real problem with my swimming (yes of course there are lots of small things that could improve my stroke, but basically I can swim/breathe absolutely fine) - the issue is quite simply a lack of training and there's not a lot I can do about that in a week. I just completely underestimated the amount of time it would take to get swim-fit. It's like entering a marathon knowing you've done several half-maras in a decent time - you know perfectly well you can manage the pace for half the distance but you're not awfully sure whether you're going to have to walk that last bit or just how much you'll slow down.

I just thought - 400m? pah! bring it on! Now I'm looking at the Ironman threads with renewed respect and awe!

And yes, the going off fast thing might well happen, espec if the 3 blokes in my lane go off fast. Never an issue with my running!!!
04/07/2005 at 15:54
Snail my shoulders hurt for the first15-20 lengths and seems to take longer to settle in the further I am able to go, am now churning out another 100 after that comfortably. My 400 splits are consistently around the sub 7ish over that distance.

Your breathing should be like a slow training run in that if you weren't face down in the water you could have a conversation. Try slowing down and see how far you can push the number of lengths. If your knackered your form will go and you'll end up fighting the water instead of swimming in it. It won't do any harm to give it a go anyway:)

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