How can I train for swimming? outside ?

I'm a member of a gym, although a quite a good endurance runner, and fast on my bike. I've done a few Duathlons and one triathlon years ago. One was the Buxton Beast (a Duathlon) and a Tri somewhere, which did ok, but I was only 19 at the time.

I live near a lake, or a mere - an old sand quarry, and have swam in there loads of times, but for a few years it is also a sailing school (did a wind surfing coarse and do hire a board out in the summer).

I'm looking to do or at least train for a tri, athough fairly good in running and bike, still fairly slow in swimming, although I have swam in the sea and a strong swimmer, but not that fast, though I can keep up a front crawl even when I'm tiring and getting hot.

The gym pool is only small and 1m deep, so some mornings, I go for a swim then run afterwards, before the staff arrive and tell me it's too dangerous etc. It is cold now to swim, but once i'm in and moving ok for a few mins. Running warms me up again. Where is the best place to train like this?



  • Join a swim club or a tri club

  • PG3PG3 ✭✭✭

    If i am right, you are swimming outside early in the mornings?  If yes...Personally I wouldnt do any open water swimming on my own, especially not in the cold.  I am health and safety type but if you get into difficulty, there is no one to help.  I would find a local swimming pool if you your gym isnt big enough.  In April/May time the open water venues open and they have canoes etc to check on you.

  • I assume you are "breaking into" your gym to use the pool ? 

    If it's open, what's the problem ? 

  • It's only 1m deep and 25m long. I do use it after working out and do quite a bit, but it's too short and having to keep turning round.

  • Didn't really answer my question 


    have you come across many 50m pools ? 

  • The one in Crewe is larger, and my gym opens at 6:30 am, so sometimes can use it before work.

  • The one at Nantwich is 33 m so try that one.

    the only 50 in that area is the aquatics centre in Manchester,  most of us manage quite happily in 25 m pools. 

  • +1 on going with what you have. Once May comes - you would be able to do OW swims somewhere close to you. You just need to ask local tri clubs where they go ?

    Boundary Park must be fairly near to you ?
  • Let me get this straight, you are jumping into a lake in January and going for a swim and then a run?

    I swim in a 20 pool, depth isn't an issue unless you have abnormally long arms?

  • No he's in the gym pool.. 

  • It reads to me like he's in the lake, otherwise why would anyone come along and tell him it's too dangerous?

    If that's the case then I'd agree that swimming on your own early morning when nobody is about isn't a good idea at all. has a map showing good places to swim, maybe help find some other nutters, sorry, enthusiasts, to swim with.

    1m deep isn't ideal and rules out tumble turns, but apart from that a 25m pool is standard for most triathletes in winter.

  • I still don,t get the bit where the staff arrive and tell him it's too dangerous. Too dangerous to do what? Is it an open air pool? Are there no locks or signs?

  • it's an old sand quarry (flooded, presumably!) that's now used by a sailing school.

  • If Paul is swimming in the lake and continuously being told by staff to clear off but then going back again and again then it's one of my favourite posts.

    I can't tumble turn without coming up gasping for air so the depth is not an issue for me.


  • i'd say make of the most of whatever you have got to hand ... instead of worrying about what you cannot do.

    Last year, 100% of my swim training was in an 18ft pool (bought from costco) in my back garden ... i managed a PB IM swim.


  • Buy an endless pool.... image

    or suffer 25m pools like most of us on here


  • I wish I lived where I could swim in the warmth. Australia perhaps?

    I have a wet and dry suit, I have used the wet suit in winter, although cold when you get in, it does create a layer between the skin and outside and keeps you freezing.
    I go before anyone arrives and do about a mile swim then 10-12 mile run. Bike I do usually after the run, mainly at the weekend when I have more time.
    It is damn hard triathlon. kudos to those who do it and finding it is draining both mentally and physically - it's the swimming that seems to make my muscles ache.

    I have some tri gear, crop tops and trunks and use them until 10 degrees c.
    Usually find when leaving the water and going to run, feel weak and stiff until a couple mins into my run and feels like normal again. 
    Yeah, just try to make the most of it, feel getting much fitter and stronger and leaner still.

  • I think the crop top and trunks reference was too much.
  • They are good as they get dry very quickly. Although not racing, if you did it saves time and is what proper triathletes use anyway.

  • Why would you wear a wetsuit that keeps you freezing?

  • Urrm. I'm with Reg on this one. If you're swimming in a sailing quarry in January and wearing a crop top and trunks, you just defined a whole new level of crazy!
  • It creates a barrier when you're in the water from the outside, your body temp warms the layer up creating a insulation. Obviously you can't run with it, so it comes off after the run. 

    Bit annoying, but problem with living in a cold country.

    I do use the Crewe baths, as it's quite large and deep.

  • I always keep the wetsuit on for the cycle and run, it's pretty aero and my transitions are really good.

  • It is quite snug and aerodynamic. I've got a lean frame and that is quite good at cutting through the wind, I have a cycling singlet, but takes time to change into that. I think the best during a race is a tri top, but only worn on the bike and run, topless during the run, and onto that. I reckon if its a hot triathlon day,then a tri singlet is all that is needed

  • Can some one clarify whether I'm reading this right but - 

    Your currently swimming in a former sand quarry at dawn to avoid the sailing club staff kicking you out, in January in a wet suit that doesn't keep you warm, with a crop top and trunks and then you're getting out and running 10 miles in January in wet crop top and trunks??. 

    I don't think Ironman is going to satisfy your craving for uncomfortable, please pass go, collect £200, and head straight to Norseman. 

  • No, the crop tri top is for summer. now in winter the wet suit is quite warm, then change into normal running gear, if it's cold a warm top etc. In the last few days, it's been 10 degrees, so warm enough for vest and shorts.
    Obviously the water is much colder. Usually do 300 m swim, more in the warmer weather.

    Yesterday, I went to the gym and after my cardio workout, before the sauna and steam did quite a few lengths of the tiny pool. Still it is better than nothing and the water's not too warm. I hate when pools have the water to hot it makes swimming really hot - like sweating underwater... image


  • Now that makes a bit more sense. 

    In my humble opinion I wouldn't be risking my life in a freezing lake for 300m, it's just not worth the risk. I'm currently using my local 25m pool, but prior to moving, I had one that was only 18m, but at the end of the day it's a pool, and you can swim in it. Just help yourself by not pushing off the wall and making sure you swim right up to it to try and replicate an open water swim, You see loads of people pushing off hard against the wall and the cruising in those last couple of metres to the wall so they're only really working for 15m of every 25m. 

  • Like sweating underwater ? You do sweat whilst swimming 

  • I've enjoyed reading this! image

  • Maybe the OP is an actual giant?

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