Hi there, I'm doing my first triathlon around the same time you are. I think that we're in just about the same situation. Last year in high school I was a runner. I run all the time still. I'm not worried about that. I picked up road biking over the summer and enjoy the hell out of that. I have a common knowledge of how to swim, but I too have no idea how I am going to conquer a half mile ocean swim. I'm signing up for the pool as soon as I can. But I have heard from many people that swimming in a pool and swimming in the ocean (not sure if thats what you're doing) are two differnent things. Also I understand swimming with 50+ people all around you can be a bit overwhelming.
Train hard. I think it will pay off in the end. Best of luck to you.
2010 Felt B12 w/Shimano Ultegra and ZIPP 808ís, 2007 Scott CR1 Equipe w/Campagnolo Chorus, 2010 Fuji Cross Comp w/Shimano 105/Ultegra, 1991 Kestral 200SC w/Shimano Ultegra
Didnít they teach you to swim in Ninja school?
Your swim is .5 which is 800 meters, 16 laps (down and back) in a 25 meter pool or 32 lengths. If you can swim that non-stop youíll survive. If youíre swimming in a 25 yard pool its 18 laps (down and back) or 36 lengths. You should know the length of the pool so you can track of your progress.
TysonB, suggested an open water swim and that will help. Youíll still need a lot of base swimming and training. Check the local YMCA or gym for some swim coaching That will really help. Swimming in lap lanes you will most likely share a lane and that will help in learning to swim around other people.
When I swim at the Y on Monday nights I try to swim next to the open swim area. There is always more turbulent water and learning to swim and breathe in those conditions will only help in open water. You may not be the ready for this.
you have plenty of time, so learn it just like any other sport. start slow and build up. nothing wrong with training in a pool and if you can get a few sessions open water before the race, great, if not, don't worry about it.
one of my favorite quotes was "no one wins a tri in the swim, but you can loose one there". Meaning, if you are a really fast swimmer but stink at the rest of the events, it will not do much good, but if you swim too hard you can sap yourself for the rest of the race.
so practice and pace yourself to make it the whole distance and as you get closer, practice doing two events in sequence so your body is used to transitioning and pacing for swim/run, swim/bike, bike/run.
like somebody else said, just concentrate on having fun. the one thing you don't want to do in an open water swim is panic. also remember that you don't have to "freestyle" the swim. if you find yourself panicing or tiring out, turn over on your back and backstroke, or sidestroke, or breaststroke.
since i'm basically stuck in a pool and don't have many opportunities to practice open water swims before races, one thing that has helped me get ready for them is to practice sighting. i do that by keeping my eyes closed while my head is in the water, and only opening them when i lift my head up to "sight". it takes a little getting used to and tends to mess up your rythm, that's why it needs to be practiced.
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+1 to everything above.
Just concentrate on getting comfortable in the water and swimming progressively longer distances at a casual speed that won't wear you out.
Open water training is very highly recommended if you can find a place to do it. Not so much for the physical aspect but rather the psychological portion of getting over the fear/panic that some people get from swimming in open water (the water is darker, no bottom to see, sometimes zero visibility, etc...)
Originally Posted by jsharr
A girl once asked me to give her twelve inches and make it hurt. I had to make love to her 3 times and then punch her in the nose.