Where do i start - advice needed....

16 messages
13/02/2013 at 11:56

Hi All - Having done a sprint last year at 6 weeks notice, i guess i kind of caught the competition bug. Not to say i actually train, but loved the comradeship etc that you get on race day (or the 1 i have experienced).

Ive now entered the Henley half IM - for reasons i am not too sure and have a few questions - Has anyone done this event?

My main concerns are the usual ones - finishing last, not making the swim time etc but more specifically i have little OW experience - will i need a different technique with a wetsuit in OW compared to pool swimming? I am fairly competant but usually dont push myself past 500m due to boredom, i guess that will need to change rapidly.

Any other advice more than welcome!


cougie    pirate
13/02/2013 at 16:01
Well someone has to finish last. Don't worry about that.

You do need to learn to sight if you're doing open water racing - so practice outside is what you need. But not yet - the water is too cold. The Lakes tend to open up April or May time. When is your race ?
14/02/2013 at 10:17

doing the Henley half in Sept - so have some time on my side.


Rafiki    pirate
14/02/2013 at 10:39

Hi Rob. Are you local to Henley then? There's a thread for Henley this year, as there's a few of us doing it - pop over and say hi!

As for OW swimming - as Cougie says, you need to get use to sighting, but apart from that most people find OW much easier as a result of the extra bouancy from the wetsuit.

The bike course is likely to have a few little hills, so get some practise in!!

14/02/2013 at 20:52


I am a Tri newbie. Took the bull by the horns and entered the short distance Virgin Tri this July. Like Rob Green 10, the OW is a bit of a worry. I am enjoying the swimming which will be my weaker part, trying to learn bi-lat' breathing and sighting. It's getting the right wetsuit that worries me..lots of companies...so much advice...any advice please ?



cougie    pirate
14/02/2013 at 21:00
I must learn to do that bilateral breathing one day...

You need to try wetsuits on. Find a shop that has several makes - each make tends to fit a different body shape.
Rafiki    pirate
14/02/2013 at 21:16

Sue - to add to whay cougie said, some of the open water lakes have local Triathlon shops selling wetsuits at the lake. Its worth trying to find one of these and actually having a quick swim to test the wetsuit out.

15/02/2013 at 20:19

Hi Rob, I'm doing Henley Half too, and I'm a slow swimmer. There is one great upside of being one of the last out of the water though... and that is that you get to blast past loads of people on the bike, and hopefully more on the run. 

As Rafiki says, swimming in a wetsuit is a lot easier so any pool practice you can get in before the lakes warm up will pay extra dividends - good luck!

19/02/2013 at 20:32

Thanks for above advice. Have booked some 1-1 swimming sessions to get a handle on the breathing malarky (?spelling). Will start investigating the wet suit as my first OW water experince is looming ...

Iron Muffin    pirate
19/02/2013 at 20:56

Sue, I hope you are off somewhere warm if you are OW swimming soon.

Dustboy    pirate
19/02/2013 at 21:06

Just for info, a few of us use Thorpe Park when it's a bit warmer. The "base" is that big red bus next to the lake by the M3/M25 junction. It's alright and they have hot showers and tea and burgers too.

19/02/2013 at 21:34

ooer...  Does OW not start in March? Am I ahead of myself? I am more than happy to put it off .......wetsuit hire talk about hire season being from March to September....see?..total newbie

Rafiki    pirate
20/02/2013 at 08:43

It all depends on the weather Sue - I know my local lake (Reading) is schedules to open on 22nd April, and even then it might be a little chilly!!

cougie    pirate
20/02/2013 at 09:33
My local lake opens in April. March is just too cold for most people.
cougie    pirate
20/02/2013 at 09:36
I've just checked - my lake opens in May !
20/02/2013 at 10:27

Checked  mine- April. Phew....


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