I went into this with the idea that I was definatley doing the sprint. For some reason in a moment of complete insanity I signed up for the Oly instead. Now I am having a panic attack. So we can change to a sprint if we need to right. Like if its June and I still cant swim.......I can change right.
Breathe - it's okay. You'll be fine. Everyone feels that way when signing up for a race. (As a swimmer, the run distances always freak me out.) But with practice and patience, you'll learn to tolerate, if not enjoy, the swim.
Rely on your fellow DC Tri Club members and we'll make sure you are prepared for the swim before the race. Take lessons (if necessary), attend all the swim clinics, and find some experienced swimmers to give you pointers along the way. I swim at Chinquapin and you are welcome to join me anytime.
Remember - the key to swimming is remaining calm in the water. Do lots of indoor practice swims, then grab a buddy and head out to calm waters for your first open water swims (Lake Arrowhead at Luray is calm, Lake Anna one hour south of the Beltway is warm). Try to get in a swim or two at your race site before the big day. Although conditions will be different each day, familiarity with the area always helps.
Congrats! You'll do great.
Me too! Was planning on the sprint and now I am committed to the Olympic. I'm excited and nervous. The swim is also my issue. I signed up for the clinic on Sunday. And, am trying to find pools near work so that i can get those workouts in. I like to swim at Chinquapin as well but I often don't get there due to time management issues :-}.
So, when are you at Chinquapin?? And thank you for the open water advice. That is a whole different ball of wax, ain't it?
You know ... the swim distance between an Oly and HIM swim is only about 400 meters right ? ;) You might as well go all in :)
If you've never watched an open water sprint or oly swim before, realize that the distance for either distance looks hideously long in real life when you see it for the first time. The secret is to swim from one buoy to the other and not worry about the entire course. Otherwise you will have panic attacks before you even get into the water.
There are a bunch of open water sprint/oly tri within a short driving distance of the area. Many of them will have swim clinics before the race. It may pay dividends for you to at least go to one of the races and watch the race, if not participate in the clinics themselves. It'll give you a good idea of what the distance looks like in real ife.
Seeing the actual distance layed out for the first time on race day might be a terrifying experience for a weak or begining swimmer. I speak from experience as a man who makes love to buoys everytime I'm out doing an open water tri.
You guys are going to do awesome! Don't worry about the swim. It may seem beyond the realm of possibility right now but we'll get you through it!
Congrats on signing up!
Not sure how much this will lower (or raise) your fears, but I did NJ State Olympic as my first triathlon, and I was a competitive swimmer in high school. When I looked out at the lake and saw the distance that I was supposed to swim, I started questioning my sanity. 1500 meters in one long stretch looks a LOT different than 1500 meters broken into 25 or 50 meter segments. But I knew I could do that distance in a pool and with help, anyone can do that distance.
Go read Tuan's race report from the Austin Half Ironman in the old forum (it's a great and hilarious read in general) and that should inspire any non-swimmer that they can make it the full distance.
No one says you have to be the first one out of the water. Or even the 50th. You could do breaststroke the entire way and make that 1500 meters. The goal is just to get to water exit and I'm sure with practice, you'll do just fine.
Likewise, congrats on signing up!
Thanks for the feedback! Now i am even more excited! Can't wait to get swimming. I am going to love it.
I just looked at registering and the Olympic is full. Is this correct? Thanks.
You have to click on the link on the NTP page and then you'll be allowed a special entry to the olympic distance.
If you go to the old archive (http://dctriclub.org/forum-archive/) and click on "National, USA", you will see two race reports that Bryan referenced. It will show you what Travis said about being able to get through the swim even if you don't see that possibility at the moment.
The race report "RR: Longhorn 70.3" will let you feel what it's like to cross that finish line after all of your hard work.
The race report "Longhorn Long Version RR" will let you see what it's like to do a triathlon through the eyes of a rookie and a non-swimmer. It also has a picture link in the thread to kind of let you see your future. It's a very cool journey. You will be greatly rewarded through your perseverance.
Dear OMG, I think you will be SO HAPPY that you signed up for the Olympic distance. While it's a good time no matter which distance you pick, all of the sprinters came in saying "I can't believe it was over so fast!" I think a lot of them wished they had done the Olympic. You're going to love it!
PS - I assume you were talking about New Jersey...is it already full??
Thank you sooooo much everyone for all of your feedback. Now if one of you could wave a magic wand and make me a swimmer that would be great. Seriously though........thank you for all of your support.
I just signed up for the Olympic distance as well and had a slight "freak out" moment...! My biggest concern is that it has been years since I've been on a bike! Any insight on the bike course in NJ?
NJ's bike course is flat, flat, flat. Just make sure that you get in some good training rides with the group to get used to being on a bike on the road again, and you'll be fine. The first official NTP group ride is scheduled for next Sat, Apr 11th (keep an eye on the weekly NTP newsletters for details). The following Sat, Apr 18th, is the club-wide Columbia Brick-Nic which is a great opportunity to ride, run, and eat. Columbia is a little hilly, so if you can get through that, NJ will be a piece of cake!
Are there any olympic ones in february or march closer than NJ? Ive been looking around and cant find anything.
You won't really find any triathlons (any distance) starting up in this area until May. Kinetic Half/Sprint or Columbia might be the first ones of the triathlon season in this area and they're in May. Good luck.
thanks. Are there any within a few hours drive that early at all?
Rumpass in Bumpass! Lake Anna - 17/18 April.