Swimming breast stroke in a tri



  • A long delay in replying sorry.... thats good, glad its going ok.

    Planned to go out on bike today but so late back from shopping trip - 1hr late bus was but one had broken diwn & one was in an accident so cdnt really say much when bus finally turned up.

    Hope to do a brick session with bike then run tomorrow, then swim tues nite. Other half asked how long i was going to be- said based on first triathlon time (2hrs 35minutes & 34seconds) hope to be done by 11am at the latest if my swim time is same as at east leake (8.09am)!
  • I meant he wanted to know how long i wd be next sunday lol.
  • I've swum 2 half iron distance races breaststroke and two full iron distance races in crawl. I know the crawl was more efficient, but sometimes it's nice to have a fall back stroke. 

    Do what you want. The important thing is to just do it. Better spend time training and practicing than wondering of you could / should. 

  • I consider myself a confident and relatively strong swimmer (can swim long distances without getting particularly tired).

    However, I do struggle to maintain swimming a crawl stroke much beyond 500-600m as I get out of breath. I expect this is due to racing breaststroke as a youth, and therefore I never really developed my crawl.

    Whilst I'm not at competing level, I've found that in most open-water swims, the vast majority of the field swimming crawl just can't swim straight and are more of a hazard to other swimmers than breaststrokers.

    Case in point, in the Salty Sea Dog 2015 Sprint Tri, the first marker bouy meant swimming perpendicular to the incoming tide, and significant numbers of crawlers ended up 40-50metres down current and had to swim directly into the tide to reach the first mark. With the heads-up benefits of breaststroke, I was able to take the tide into account and over the entire course probably saved 100-200metres in distance over all but the most expert of crawl swimmers, and exited the water around mid-field (with no pre-race training, I might add).

    Swim whichever stroke you feel comfortable with, and also take into account the conditions. Breaststroke might just actually be the better, safer and more efficient stroke to use on the day, at least for part of the course.

  • I've done those Salty Sea Dogs a couple of times, can never work out the tide and always end swimming all over the place, chasing buoys! imageimage

  • I am really glad I stumbled into this group and googled this question. As a 62 year old getting his buckt list knocked off - started running for th efirst time in my life 6 months ago and ran 4 half marathons in the last 3 months with the wife; now practising for MS 150 which is a bike ride from Houston to Austin (150 miles) - rode a bike for the first time 2 weeks ago and did 40 miles on the practise run with 800 other bikers in hilly terrain and will keep increasing until April 29th (day of the MS 150); in the interim I swim about 2500 yards at least twice a week. I swim breast stroke and it takes me an hour and 10 minutes enjoying the swim. My next item is to do a simple triathalon and was concerned that I need to master fre style to participate in a triathalon. All you guys are an awesome inspiration with your comments. Each of you rock!!! Thanks so much for your comments
  • Mrhappy sounds like you're gearing up for an ironman with that swimming!  Well done. 

    The first rule of triathlon club is that there's only one a in triathlon....
  • I am partaking in my first tri sprint in 4 weeks time and I am panicking as just cannot swim front crawl in a straight line and still struggle with my breathing.  It's only 400m so nothing like the iron man triathlons but I so worry that I will be a minority doing breaststroke and I will be one of the slower competitors and hold other swimmers up! I am getting extremely worked up over it and have even thought about pulling out and my hubby is saying I'm being silly and should just enjoy the experience as it's my first.  I am 49 and expecting to keep up with younger competitors!!
  • Welcome and stop worrying! There's nothing wrong with swimming breaststroke if you need to.

    If it's an open water event there's more than enough room for people to pass you'll not be holding anyone up.

    If your event is in a pool they generally seed people according to their estimated swim times, so you'll be swimming with other folk of the same pace as you. There are usually protocols in pool events for passing people - if the person behind you taps your toes as you're swimming, stop at the end of the pool and let them go ahead.

    Good luck and have fun :-)
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