Hey there

 Im looking for some advice,  I would like to take part in a local triathlon in septmber, 400m swim, 12k bike ride and 5k run. Is there any time limits for the swimming?

Yesterday i managed a 26mile bike ride and 30 lengths of the local 20m pool just to see how i got on. swimming is my worst discipline as i only learned how to swim 2 years ago and have a fear of putting my face fully in the water!

Is there any specific stroke you have to do when competing in a triathalo? also can you just turn around after each lap without having to do some impressive underwater turns?.

Hope you all understand what i mean by the above!  Any help/info would be great image


  • HappychapHappychap ✭✭✭
    Hi Tracy

    No fancy turns needed. A lot of first timers will breaststroke. You just need to be able to swim a front stroke (back crawl isn't allowed)

    Go and have a great time :0). If you enjoy it and want to do more then you can always invest in lessons later.
  • Most pool swims I have seen state tumble (aka fancy) turns aren't allowed. A lot of time limits on events relate to safety/practical issues. Given the elites will be through a 400m swim in 5-minutes, the average swimmer will be done in 10-mins, even if you take 20mins it is unlikely to create any course management issues.

    So sign up, swim a bit and enjoy it - your first one is a blast.
  • If a race has time limits they should state them on their entry forms/event info, so if they don't you should be fine.

    Tumble turns generally not allowed due to safety issues (there will be several of you in each lane) so there's no problem there. Protocol is if you want to overtake someone, just touch their feet and they let you past at the next turn.

    They will generally ask for a time estimate for the swim, and put people in appropriate groups based on that, so you should be swimming with people at similar level. If it is your weakest event, you can have just have more fun passing people on the bike and run!
  • Pool swims over here in Germany are seeded not so that everyone in one lane is at the same level because that just leads to everyone getting in each other's way. We have up to 8 swimmers per lane and they will be mixed slow, normal, fast and super-fast. Before the start every swimmer tells the others their expected finish time and when the whistle goes the fastest swimmer sets off first followed by everyone else in time order. Everyone swims on the right, if you find you are actually going faster than the swimmer ahead you just  look to see make sure nobody is  coming the other way and then pass. Works beautifully.
  • I just did my first tri at the weekend and had been wondering about the same sorts of things. Was very relieved to see that while most of the swimmers in the fastest heat did tumble turns, just about everybody else in the other nine heats didn't.

    Almost everybody swam crawl though I did watch one woman in the first (slowest) heat do alternating lengths of breast stroke, backstroke and crawl. She was last out of the pool in her heat by quite some time but got as big a cheer as everyone else from the spectators.

    Go ahead and enter, you'll be fine! image

  • I've never heard of a swim cut off for a pool based, short triathlon.  Cut offs are generally only enforced if you are doing something like an Ironman, as they need everyone to finish before it gets too late.

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