Swimming breast stroke in a tri

Despite the fact you can swim whatever stroke you want in triathlon I have felt an unsaid pressure to do front crawl despite previous advice to do what you feel comfortable with. A few club members have said  that if I want to do breast stroke do so. One said a lot of people swim using this stroke and not to feel pressured into doing front crawl and one said the main aim is to enjoy it.

I can swim front crawl but persevered iwith it when going to club swim sessions so I ddnt feel out of place as that is the only stroke they seem to do. I know its more efficient but whats the point of doing something that makes you miserable and may eventually lead to giving up doing triathlon as a result.

So from now on I am going to swim breast stroke and work on doing it faster as I have to do what is best for me. I have an aquathlon in june to train for next however not sure whether to continue going to the club's tues evening swim session which I enjoy for the company but if I am not doing breast stroke it may be pointless. 

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Comments

  • Go for it!

    I did most of a half IM swim using breastroke a few years back.... still wasn't last, by some way! 

    lets be honest.... its all prep for an Ironman on my 100th birthday
  • I did ironman uk last year swimming breast stroke in 1 hr 41 and was very pleased with the time

    i have tried front crawl for this year but just can't get, it so again this time I will be doing breast stroke

    I should really get lessons but I don't enjoy doing front crawl so why should I do what everybody else does ! 

  • Yes, do what you feel comfortable with. I would just ask that you please consider the other swimmers around you, I can't tell you how many times I've been punched or kicked by a breaststroker in a tri swim and besides putting me off my own stroke, it hurts.

  • Swim round them like anyone else, look up, see breast stroker, give wide berth, carry on... 

    I, probably like others have been hit by crawlers, breast strokers, even a back stroker (guess he got permission or told the kayaker), it's a mass participation swim race, it's going to happen.

    TLN - Swim you own race, if you want to breast stoke then fine, helps people like me sight coz I can sit on your tail and know that you can see where you're going every stroke image

  • It is slower than crawl, but it's your life and your happiness, so go for it. Nothing like being the captain of your own ship.
  • fat buddhafat buddha ✭✭✭

    "Despite the fact you can swim whatever stroke you want in triathlon" - not quite correct as backstroke is frowned upon in OW due to a) sighting issues and b) for anyone needing help the recommendation is to roll onto their back and put their arm in the air.  a backstroker would look like they need permanent help!

    anyhoo - breaststroke is fine.  I'm a reasonable swimmer and got overtaken by a breaststroker at Windsor Tri one year - that dented my morale a bit! (he was bloody quick!)

  • Yep – front crawl all the way for me and I like ribbing mates who decide to do any other stroke, namely breaststroke (but that it just my competitive childish humour).

     

    I have been a relatively proficient swimmer from a young age and therefore have not had to struggle developing my front crawl technique.  I suggest getting breaststroke right is almost as technically difficult as front crawl (specifically the kick) but it is naturally a more comfortable position for many.

     

    Fearful of getting their heads kicked in during a mass start in Challenge Laguna Phuket, two mates started swimming breaststroke from the start and ended up continuing through to exit of the swim.  They were only 5-10 minutes behind me (and I had a torrid time fighting in the main pack, doing front crawl).  More importantly, by adopting breaststroke, it no doubt made them less apprehensive and therefore the swim was more enjoyable experience.

     

    I’d say keep working on your front crawl because it is a better, more efficient stroke to adopt in triathlon but only when you’re more comfortable with it than breaststroke.

  • I would reiterate the point about taking care. My IM Wales was ruined by a breastroker. Started near the front and took a kick 5 minutes into the swim, took on salt water and threw up for the rest of the day
  • But if you took a kick, then you were behind them and out of their line of sight, therefore surely it's up to you to avoid them?

    Until there's a breast stroke lane set up at the start there's not much they can do to take any care to not kick people is there?

  • M..o.useM..o.use ✭✭✭
    I think I agree with MTri and Ironwolf. At a crowded mass participation OW start there are often too many swimmers in the water to avoid the breaststroke kick. I think that swimmers should be discouraged from doing this in this environment. If you need a rest it's not hard to do breaststroke arms and front crawl kick. I was also at IM Wales and there was significant bunching at the first turn buoy. It was very hard to swim at all, we were like a shoal of fish in a net and yet some were doing breast stroke in very close proximity to other swimmers. If there is clear water, you can swim around the kick, agreed, but there is not always clear water. Don't get me wrong, I'm not afraid of a bit of 'biff' but I think breaststroke in this situation is inconsiderate.



    Also, breaststroke in a wetsuit can't be good for hips/knees where they are restricted by the rubber, surely?



    In a pool, go for your life I guess.
  • M..o.useM..o.use ✭✭✭
    The kicks I have taken have been from swimmers alongside, to the stomach. Commonly when someone changes from crawl to breast.
  • Exactly. If someone is swimming crawl, then arms and legs are generally in line with the body so no issues swimming close. When somebody changed from crawl to breastroke then they start taking up additional space that you were occupying, hence the kick, and a breastroke kick had quite a bit of force behind it.



    I'm not blaming anyone, just frustrating to ruin a years training and IM entry due to a kick early in a race.



    Generally, breastrokers would be considered weaker swimmers, and therefore should seed themselves accordingly in the start pen.
  • Of course, a pool swim is a completely different situation.
  • Short answer is no it doesn't matter - if you are comfortable swimming that way go hard!  As you were image

  • Thanks Crooky-BWFC knowing someone has done breaststroke in an Ironman makes me feel better not that I will be doing one any day soon! 

    I have no intention of being competitive but if i was then I would preserve with improving my front crawl. However I was advised today by some one that breast stroke can cause problems with your knees, hips and ankles and that you can suffer on the bike as the muscles used for breast stroke are similar to those when perched on the bike - is is this true or are they  just biased towards front crawl? That said they did said if i wanted to,on tuesday nights, swim breaststroke in the ironman lane they would just swim around me - should I do this or go swimming at my local leisure centre when i want or go and just do front crawl.

     

    While I appreciate what they are saying 

  • to continue while I appreciate what they are saying I will continue to swim breast stroke - my lower back.knees and hips ache sometimes but its more to do with old age rather than doing breast stroke.

  • Thanks kittenkat

    For the first time in my life I am starting to do things because I want to, because it is the right thing for me and its great.  image

    I am going to, with my friend from work, start building the distance travelled by bike until I can do the standard distance at the same time I, on my own,will work on doing the standard swim  and run distance.

  • kittenkat wrote (see)

    If breastroke is a permitted stroke (which I think it is but haven't read the rule book for a while), you are well within your rights to do it in an IM if you want.

    I personally wouldn't give a crap what other people think. image

     

    What if it was me that disappoved. Would you give a crap then?

     

  • I was on the front row of a deep water start.  The horn went and I got the most forceful kick in the sternum, it took my breath away and ruined my swim for about 5 minutes.  CPR out of the blue!  I'd gone on the front row to avoid the breastrokers ironically!

    Whilst it is allowed and perfectly legal, it is inconsiderate.

    Runner, swimmer, cyclist and triathlete

    Devoid of a competitive streak :)

    Who cares, I'm in it for the medal!

  • SwimsL1keaWalrus wrote (see)

    I was on the front row of a deep water start.  The horn went and I got the most forceful kick in the sternum, it took my breath away and ruined my swim for about 5 minutes.  CPR out of the blue!  I'd gone on the front row to avoid the breastrokers ironically!

    Whilst it is allowed and perfectly legal, it is inconsiderate.

    Why is it inconsiderate swimming breaststroke ?

    if that is what people can swim then why not,

    i did it at ironman but I made sure that I started near the back and made sure I had plenty of space

  • SwimsL1keaWalrus wrote (see)

    I was on the front row of a deep water start.  The horn went and I got the most forceful kick in the sternum, it took my breath away and ruined my swim for about 5 minutes.  CPR out of the blue!  I'd gone on the front row to avoid the breastrokers ironically!

    Whilst it is allowed and perfectly legal, it is inconsiderate.

    It's inconsiderate for walruses to be on the front row - give it up for the orcas.

  • I'm doing my first ever sprint in Aug, I am learning the crawl and am determined but I know I have breaststroke as my plan b.  I wont be ashamed to hang out at the back to start and then swim my own pace and style.  I want to enjoy the experience and finish and do what it will take me to succeed.  I have a ton of confidence in my breaststroke and it is very likely I will be using it at least for part of the swim.

  • My crawl is pretty pants but for me it's still a lot easier than breast stroke.

    In my first ironman in Switzerland I found myself behind a breast stoker. I followed him for ages as he was sighting on each stroke. Perfect.



    Id not worry about kicks - you get punches off the crawl.
  • I did my first tri breaststroke Roberto and if your fast I would start wide towards the front I ended up having to fight my way through all the slow front crawlers and it wasn't pretty.start wide stay wide give yourself and others space you won't kick the shite out of everyone and will be pleasantly surprised where you place

     

     

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