Thanks, that swimsmooth site looks very helpful! I can swim, I'm just not at all confident with the breathing and head underwater stuff and have no technique! I know I'll need all that for the most efficient swim. I'll look into race cut off times too thanks.
I was wondering what you would recomend for someone that can do 10k run in just over 40mins and loves to cycle but is a terrible swimmer. I really want to get into triathlon, and eventually do an IM with a friend. The trouble is I've never been a great swimmer and I can't afford to be doing lessons.
Its the one part of triathlon that makes me slightly scared to do it! My build is perfect for long distance running (tall and skinny!) but probably not the best for swimming?
How good do you really need to be at swimming to have a go at standard length triathlon? Do I need to get my breathing and strokes in time and all that or can a newbie get away with just making sure I can swim 1500m alright in a pool? Also what sort of time should I be looking to complete the swim in? I'm concerned that I'll have exhausted myself in the swim and then have a terrible cycle/run to finish.