Cold Water Triathlons

Triathlon Event  As to Scott’s question about how to tell if one is ready for a tri, I have a similar question, though I’ve been training for 9 mos, slowing building endurance. I can do the 1/4 mi swim and get on a bike immediately and go for a ride. I followed that with a 10 min run recently, though I run/walk. I recently tried swimming in a very cold lake and it took my breath away, scaring me about the tri. I will be in warm water for the tri I’m planning to do. I just lost some confidence, as I’ve not done swimming in open water. I’m looking for a wetsuit for training, though they say one is not needed for the tri in Aug. Am I overly worried?

Carolyn from California

Triathlon Event  Hi Carolyn,
Thank you for contacting!

Good follow up question. We always suggest that you spend some time training in the environment you will be racing in several times before you head to your race. As you said, running into freezing cold water takes your breath away and scares you. If you practice running into the water in which you will be racing, you will get more and more comfortable dealing with the shock of cold water and it won’t scare you. If you get a wetsuit, it will diminish the coldness of the water and you’ll have a smooth swim.

It sounds like your next swim will be in a warm lake, so head over to any lake and start practicing your swims! As an aside, if the water is too warm, they may say that you can’t wear a wetsuit, so you might want to ask before the race start to be sure.

Best of luck with the race!!!

Be well.
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