Swimming breast stroke in a tri



  • Its unusual to be punched in the chest or body in a swim mainly in arms and legs....but a full on breaststroke kick is powerful and is going in the opposite direction to you and so will have more impact.....

    so in a crowded area it is dangerous and I think the swimmer who is a powerful breaststroker will know this  and so is intending it....


    but most breaststroke because they are crap swimmers. thats why I would do it at times and therefore will be further back in the pack..

  • DaylightRDaylightR ✭✭✭

    I think the inconsiderate comment comes from the fact that if you're doing breaststroke the chances of you being a competer as opposed to a completer are slim. As such, everyone will have a better time if you dont sit yourself at the front when the horn goes off. It would appear that most of the less competent swimmers do this already, so its only the odd one or two we're talking about.

    Likewise as a stronger swimmer, but no where near sharp end of the field, I prefer to sit near the front but out wide as Glasslegs suggests. Makes for a much more pleasant experience, especially if you stay wide around the first mark too (course dependent), the slower swimmers will normally drop away shortly after and you can resume the racing line without too much bashing.

  • It all sounds like a war zone.  I have seen the videos, even of the elites at the first buoy, it looks like a free for all and everyone for themselves.  Surely no one is out there to do harm to anyone, no one in their right mid would be there deliberately trying to hurt people.  It does sound like people being single minded in trying to defend their space though.

  • It's not known as the washing machine for nothing
  • Yeah it's definitely not a team sport Roberto and if your in the way making somebody coming 485th instead of 481st your minced meat.

  • some people do do it deliberately.........luckily like in most things it is the minority

  • I too am having massive problems with front crawl, my stroke of choice is breast stroke.  I will be entering my first triathlon next July and although I will spend the best part of the winter trying desperately to sort out the crawl, I suspect I will end up at the back of the field doing breast stroke.

    That said, for me it'll be about the experience and getting round - not being fast.

    As far I I can see it, you are entitled to swim whichever stroke is the best for you (obvs apart from backstroke) but agree with other comments about swimming off to the side or at least in a position that is more considerate to the front crawlers.

  • I couldnt get the hang of crawl until it just clicked. Its not that hard if I can do it. You'll nail it too Beth.
  • Snap!Snap! ✭✭✭

    I couldn't do breast stroke for that distance. Bloody good on you if you can!

  • someone breast stroked the swim of a triple a few years ago.........because of the arm action they managed to rip out a pile of hair from their chest are and a bit on their back


  • Have done breaststroke for much of the swim in two triathlons, one Olympic, one half ironman. Was a bit worried the first time that the leg kick would tire my legs out but it didnt. Means breathing and sighting won't be a problem. Can also be interesting to see what is going on, see some crawlers zig-zagging like anything, etc.

    Because the kick goes out sideways it is a bit more hazardous to others than a front crawl kick but people swimming behind or overtaking should be conscious of what you are doing and give you space. Can make going round crowded buoys a bit more awkward though - i tend to take the outside line to have a bit more space.

  • NayanNayan ✭✭✭

    I cant see how one can ask a breaststroke merchant to be considerate to freestylers people overtaking them, but staying close enough to get kicked. Its not as if the 'stroker can see the frestyler.

    Plus if you swim close to the 'stroker and the rule were that they should stop kicking while you overtake surely that would be unfair wouldnt it?  

  • Thanks Cougie - I'll stick with it and see how I get on - I've got 12 months to go at it! image

  • It has been interesting reading some of the responses to this post.  

    With regard to freestylers overtaking - i was told if i wanted I could carry on coming to my tri club swim session on tuesday but swim breast stroke in the Ironman lane - I did express concern that I would be in the way but it has not been like that as the people  at the club who swam in that lane know me and just went around me with no problem although occasionally I did freestyle kick with breastroke arms until they had passed.

    An update on the Aquathlon which I did yesterday (22 June) I did it in 1 hour 10mins and 5 secs which am very happy with considering it was quite warm -the swim I did breaststroke in 14mins and 22 secs.

    If I do another one will make sure there is no more than 2 laps involved in the run lol.

  • Well there we go. After people talking about how dangerous breaststroke is i manage to swim front crawl for a whole race and... get smashed in the eye by a fellow crawler while he is overtaking.

  • I havent posted on this thread for a while but thought i needed to comment;

    0n another thread i have bn advised front crawl better if wearing a wetsuit which i havent got & better to do it in anyfhing linger than sprint yet on this thread ithers have done li ger breaststroke so i want to continue breaststroke but feel i will be doomed to sprint forever.
  • you can do breaststroke whenever you like at whatever distance but you will find that over longer distances crawl is more efficient and less energy demanding - perhaps a reason why you don't see swimming competitions with breaststroke events longer than 200m whereas crawl goes up to 1500m in a pool and much longer in open water.

    and as said, wetsuits are not best with breast stroke as the leg kick has to fight the resistance of the neoprene which is thicker on the legs to aid buoyancy.

  • Thanks its reassuring to know that and while I understand what you are saying about swimming breaststroke in a wetsuit,assume it is difficult not impossible as others have posted on this thread that they have swum breaststroke at longer distances - presumably they were wearing wetsuits.

    I feel a little guilty as I said I was going to give crawl another go but feel I am selling out considering my previous posts on this thread. As it is I will be doing breaststroke at Lichfield Sprint even though at the current time I have gone right off the idea and would prefer to withdraw but wont as wont get money back this close to the event so will just aim to get round.

  • You'll be fine breaststroking at Lichfield tri, it's a pool swim and everyone will be setting off at 5 min intervals, don't pull out, you will absolutely enjoy it once you get going. I'll be hoping to see you there!
  • Thanks justpolodon, no I wont - just feeling a bit hemmed in at the moment,that if I choose to continue doing this stroke, its like throwing their advice back in their face. I appreciate their advice but feel at the end of the day I have to do whats right for me and I may find out for myself what they are saying or may prove the exception to the rule re swimming breaststroke at longer distance in a wetsuit.

    Hope to see you there - I will be wearing a white t-shirt with Nuneaton Triathlon Club written on the back and the club logo and Nuneaton Triathlon Club in smaller letters on the front on the bike & on the run. I may have a yellow Giant bike - havent decided which bike I am using yet (only have two - may use the one i did my first tri on)

    I think swim times are available from weds 3rd september as entries close on Sunday 31st August.

  • M..o.useM..o.use ✭✭✭

    I'm getting a bit frustrated now. Across various threads you go round the houses for the same topic. 

    You can swim breast stroke if you want to. 

    Some others have said they have swum breast stroke. 

    However, these are likely to be the exception, not the rule. For proof, go on YouTube and look for clips of triathlon swims. Look at Outlaw, any Ironman event. Look for ITU championships. People are swimming front crawl. 

    Most people swim triathlons front crawl. That's the fact of the matter. 

    Please stop fannying around looking for positive reinforcement and instead go back to improving your front crawl at Tri club swims. Yes, you might be scared but just bloody well get on with it. 

    At Lichfield, swim breast stroke if you want because you are still learning crawl but when you are training now you should do crawl. By next summer, you will be much improved. 




  • Ok M.o,use point taken - this will be the last you hear of me on this subject or any other.  I am sorry if I have offended or annoyed you or any others with constant repetition on this subject over different threads so will not say anymore. If i post in future it will be to state results of what I have undertaken and no more, if I do any more that is.

    I am signing offf now as going out soon with people from work for a curry for someone's leaving do.






  • Quitter

    When the going gets tough.......... Have a curry
  • M..o.useM..o.use ✭✭✭

    You haven't offended me and you can post what you like. I just want you to flipping swim!

  • What she said .... work on your weaknesses, don't be afraid of them

    You have plenty of time to improve
  • At the end of the day do whatever you want if it makes it easier for you, but don't question other people's opinions when you ask the question, these guys do know what they're talking about.
  • Will do. Just back from curry ; not a late nite as working tomorrow. Thank goodness its friday tomorrow!
  • Thanks justplodon. Hows your training for lichfield going?
  • I'm pretty much there, I'm a regular cyclist and runner so already have the Sprint distances more than covered...my swim however is pretty crap, something I'm still working on but I know I can cover the distance...with a couple of rest breaksimage
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