Welcome to the DC Triathlon Club’s general informational page about the Masters Swim Program (MSP). MSP is a yearly specific program starting in November that is designed specifically toward open water and triathlon swimming. Although swimmers may opt in at any time, the program will evolve over the course of the year, through phases that are designed to emphasize the different training needs from the offseason to race season. The program provides triathletes (new or veteran) with the skills and conditioning necessary to excel in the open water as experienced coaches guide each practice with an eye toward improving open water technique and individual swimmer improvement. The goal of this program is to improve all aspects of a swimmer’s open water swimming ability as well as provide confidence and race strategy understanding.
This is not a learn-to-swim program.
- Status: continuous open enrollment. Season starts November 1st.
- Session Size: VARIOUS.
- Morning Swim – Monday, Wednesday, Friday
- Location: UDC Natatorium, Building 47
- Swim time: 5:45AM – 6:45AM
- Evening Swim – Monday, Wednesday, Friday
- Location: Wilson Aquatic Center
- Swim time: 7:00PM – 8:00PM
RSVP for Classes
Frequently Asked Questions
We use two area pools:
- Wilson Aquatic Center
- Address: 3950 Chesapeake Street, NW, Washington, DC 20016
- Metro stop: Tenleytown/American University
- Parking: Free and metered street parking in the nearby neighborhood
- University of DC (UDC) Natatorium, Building 47
- Address: Building 47, 4200 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20008
- Metro stop: VanNess/UDC
- Parking: Free and metered street parking on Yuma Street (entrance to the pool facility is up a flight of stairs off Yuma Street, just above the tennis courts)
Benefits & Practices
- What’s the benefit of swimming with a Masters group?
The primary benefit of swimming with a Masters Swim group is having a coach watching your stroke. Success in swimming, unlike cycling or running, is heavily dependant on technique and often, swimmers are unable to see what they may be doing incorrectly. On a secondary level, swimming with a group provides individuals who may encourage you to swim harder to keep up (or pass!) as well as provide camaraderie as you all work towards the common goal of finishing the workout.
- Do you have anything for people who feel like they aren’t ready for a Masters practice?
Although this is not a learn-to-swim program, MSP participants cover a wide range of swimming abilities. Some of our greatest success stories involve swimmers who joined the program, unable to swim more than 200 continuous yards. With dedication and practice, they are now swimming upward of 2,000 yards per workout today! In other cases, we are helping swimmers break the one-minute threshold in 100 yard time trial tests.
- Worried that you might slow other swimmers down?
Don’t be! We design our workouts to be adjustable for all levels — and you may well find a group of kindred swimmers in your lane who naturally match your pace.
- Concerned about group swimming jargon?
Our coaches guide every practice with detailed explanations of each workout and drill. We also periodically host a free “Intro to Masters” clinic, which introduces prospective MSP participants to the lingo and allows swimmers to jump in the water and experience a swim workout with us!
- Are there any opportunities to swim in open water?
The program currently does not offer them directly, but our newsletter often features a community swimming section that lists many local and regional open water swim opportunities.
- What kind of workout and interaction can I expect from the program?
Coached practices include:
- Structured workout plans.
- In-water and out-of-water drills.
- Individual athlete attention.
- Stroke analysis.
- Fostering relationships with our current partners for open water swim race simulation opportunities.
- Approximately 1600-3000 yards/meters per practice, depending on individual ability.
- How much does it cost?
The per session cost varies depending on the level of commitment of the swimmer. The cost can be as high as 15$ for an individual drop in swim or as low as 3$ if you purchase an unlimited package and go to all of our AM and PM sessions. We also have punch pass packages of varying quantities if an unlimited or yearly package does not work for your training goals.
- What experience do the MSP coaches have?
The DC Triathlon Club has fostered the training and experience of our Masters Swim Program Coaches, who provide swimmers with specialized training and on-deck stroke feedback needed for success in the open water. Many of our coaches have had numerous years of experience in swimming competition. Love for the sport is what drives their passion to teach, and the success of their peers is what makes the job enjoyable. As fellow triathletes, they are thrilled to share their experience and joy of swimming with you by preparing you for the competition and excitement of the swim leg in triathlons. Most of our coaches are also United States Masters Swimming (USMS) coach-certified. We also have a USAT level 1 certified coach on staff as well.
- I’m in! How do I register?
Great! We can’t wait to see you on deck at UDC and Wilson pools! First, come to one of our sessions for a free ‘get to know you’ practice. We would like you to be comfortable with our coaching style and organization before you take the plunge. If you feel that we are a good match for you, join DC Tri Club (if you are not already a member) and log into the website and then use the menu option under Programs > Masters Swim Program > Purchase Passes. Once you are on this page you will be able to purchase a swimming punch pass or one of the various unlimited swimming pass. Then, follow the instructions there to register online for the sessions you want to attend!