Take a bad swim and make it better

Triathlon Event  I just completed my first sprint triathlon. Although I felt prepared for the swim, I found it to be the hardest and most frustrating activity. As I sized up the distance of the out and back swim, I didn’t think I’d have any problems completing the distance.

My problems started almost immediately however, when the gun went off. I was overwhelmed by the amount of bodies in front, behind and on each side of me. Getting kicked in the face and stomach threw me back, and simultaneously feeling my feet make contact with the people behind me, scared me.

By the halfway point I was almost panicking and realized by the end that I was never actually able to complete a decent freestyle stroke. I varied somewhere between breast stroke, dog paddling, and side strokes just to avoid making contact with all those other women! I emerged frustrated, tired, and had a belly full of lake water! I’d love some tips on how to make my limited space work for me for the next one!

Ella L. from Colorado

Triathlon Event  Hi Ella,
Thank you for contacting!

It sounds like you had one terrible experience in the water and that really stinks! Hopefully these tips will help you enjoy your next race a whole lot more.

On “GO”, stay to the back or the outside of the pack if you don’t want to get beaten up or catch a foot in the face. People are more concentrated on surviving the swim or achieving a certain time than they are about people around them. In events where there are men, believe me when I say it’s a lot more rough out in the water swimming though all of that testosterone. Anyways, staying outside the people and lifting your head every 10 or so strokes to stay on course is your best bet. It may make your race a bit longer, but it will allow you to get into a freestyle rhythm and not have to worry about other peoples’ limbs flailing in your direction.

Try these for more info:

I hope this helps!
Megan staff – Guiding new triathletes into the world of mini-triathlons Recommended Resources:


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