So, you’ve taken the plunge and signed up for your first triathlon, but you have no idea where to start when it comes to the swim. Here are 3 triathlon swim tips that will help you get ready to dive into your sprint triathlon swim training.
1. Find a pool
Obviously, you need a pool to practice in, but if you’re gym doesn’t have a lap pool, don’t worry! Here are some creative places to look for some chlorinated water to swim in:
- Your town/community pool
- Your local high school or college
- A hotel pool
- An apartment complex with a pool
- A friend’s pool
The most important thing to remember when you’re just getting started is that the more time you spend in the water, the more confidence you’ll build and the better swimmer you’ll become. If you can’t find a legit lap pool, don’t worry. It’s better to swim circles in your friend’s above the ground pool or back and forth in your peanut shaped apartment pool then to not swim at all.
For a more in depth post about how to find a pool, click here.
2. Get the gear
Triathlon swim gear is pretty simple:
For the guys, board shorts work just fine, however per Davey, they can cause quite a bit of drag. So if you want a simple way to speed up your swim, get a pair of tri shorts. You’ll need them for race day anyway and you can wear them when you bike as well.
Here are the essentials:
Here are a few extras that both Davey and I use that makes our swim training more enjoyable:
- My TriSwim Coach App – creates awesome swim workouts – ($1.99 on iTunes)
- Sport Count Lap Counter
- “Spit” de-fog goggle spray
3. Mentally Prepare
Your mind is your most powerful tool when it comes to your triathlon swim. In fact, many people won’t ever do a triathlon because they’re afraid of the swim. So before you even dip your toe in the water, it’s a good idea to mentally prepare yourself. Here are a few things to keep in mind before you take the plunge:
- You probably won’t be able to swim your full triathlon distance the first day in the pool.
- You might be out of breath after one lap. It’s OK. In fact, that’s normal when you’re first starting out.
- We are mammals for a reason. If swimming doesn’t come naturally to you, then you’re normal. If it does, you might be a mermaid, part dolphin or a super hero.
- Just like training for a marathon, working up to your triathlon distance will take time.
- The more time you spend swimming laps, the better swimmer you’ll become.
- Don’t get overwhelmed. The swim is only 10% of the race. It will be over in 7-15 minutes (depending on your race distance).
- Goggle marks take a long time to fade so if you swim during your lunch break, people may give you weird looks during your afternoon meeting. If that happens, just proudly tell them that you’re training for a TRIATHLON!
- You may never feel comfortable in spandex or a swimsuit. No matter how many times I swim, I still feel self-conscious walking from the locker room to the pool and I try to get into the water as fast as I can.
- You may feel like you’re not making any progress and then one day it will just click. Don’t give up.