Good news: the swim is the shortest leg of triathlon's swim-bike-run format. Don't let the swim stop you from trying your first triathlon.
If you can:
- swim (15-20 minutes)
- bike (60 minutes) and
- walk (45 minutes), you can finish your first triathlon.
Some things to know:
1. Any swim stroke is OK. You can use freestyle, breaststroke, back crawl, side stroke or doggy paddle. If you have a panic moment, switch to something that makes you more comfortable.
2. You will get bumped. You may get kicked, scratched, or even run over. Knowing this ahead of time, will make any contact with other swimmers less of a shock. If you are new, or a slow swimmer, start in the back and to the outside. Take a wider path and you'll run into fewer people.
3. Don't forget to breathe. I tend to start off too fast. Everything starts to burn. Then I slow down, focus on breathing and try to swim well vs. fast.