#TriTraining: Open Water Swim

Last week I finally made it to the open water swim group. Last summer I said I was going to join them, but never did. All June I said I was going to join them, but never did. And on July 2nd I remembered my first triathlon is July 19. So I joined them.

Open Water Swim FearsThe Lakes Area Multisport (LAMS) group meets at 5:30 pm on Wednesdays for an open water swim across Whipple Lake.  The group is very encouraging and willing to slow down for the slowest swimmer. There is even a kayak to help them stay visible in the water.

first open water swimThis week they did a warm up of two laps of the blue arrows. The yellow is where we ran across the beach. I was the only person not in a wetsuit, but I did have my Garmin 910x with me to keep me accountable for how long I was swimming.

After the warm up the group went off across the lake. I did not feel comfortable enough in the water to go with them. Instead, I continued swimming the buoy laps. My stroke is all over the place. My right hand goes down in the water which means I don’t get a good pull. My hips barely rotate, and every three strokes I have to be on my side to calm my nerves. My brain was working over time while I was swimming, but it did help me come up with a few tips to share!

  • Know Yourself: the water may be literally over your head, but that doesn’t mean to you should push yourself beyond your comfort level (at least not on the first day).
  • Push Yourself: I wouldn’t have swam for 45 minutes on my own if I hadn’t seen other people doing it. The first 10 minutes (the two laps with everyone) were awful. 20 minutes in I was warmed up. The last 25 minutes I felt like I was actually making some kind of progress.
  • Trust Your Teammates: Prior to the group taking off for across the lake, multiple people offered to swim slow with me. They said I could do it. But I wasn’t so sure. Once they came back in. I realized I probably could have done it.

Triathlon SwimmingHere’s hoping tonight I will swim across the lake!


  1. way to go!!!! I started swimming again at my gym and I love it so much! Swimming was my life in junior high and high school so it has been weird not being in that water. It really is a great exercise.
    My mom has the same issues as you…. sometimes she lets her nerves get the best of her and she has to stop to take a few breathes. It really just takes practice and you will build your confidence. It is probably best that you didn’t swim across the lake on your first day just because now you have that feeling of I can do it next time! You rock and I can’t wait to hear when you make it across the lake!

  2. You’ve got this girl! You will be swimming across the lake before you know it. It’s going to be ridiculously scary the first time, but once you prove to yourself that you can do it, it will get so much easier! I admire you – I couldn’t even swim the laps!

    1. You are so right! It is ridiculously scary! Last week I told them I would definitely be able to join them on the next week, and now I’m totally freaking out again.

  3. Nice job! I have to try one of these open water swims someday. I don’t ever want to do a tri, but the swimming part sounds like fun to me. (I love lakes and swam in high school.)

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