FIRST Race of the Season Swim TIPS

When preparing for the first race of the season, the swim portion in your race may be either your first open water or first triathlon swim, or simply the first open water race of your season.  Here are some tips and reminders to help ensure you have a fun and successful experience.
NOTE: Always arrive to the race NO LATER than two (2) hours before your schedule start.
Always get in the water early to warm up: 

  • Make sure you’re set up in transition with more than 30min to walk down to the swim start and get ready for the swim.  It’s common to put your wetsuit on up to your hips in transition, then walk to the swim start with only what you need to race (swim cap, goggles, and timing chip). 
  • Once at the waters edge, get your suit on and get in the water.  Then, intentionally let some water in through the neck of the suit.  Do some double arm backstroke, and some high-knees water running, and allow the suit to slide into all the correct spaces around your legs, core, and arm pits.  This is also the time to pee (true story).  THEN exit the water and allow the bubble of water you allowed into your suit to drain out the legs.  NOW the suit is on your body correctly.  Now you may enter and reenter the water to warm up and/or wait on land for your start,
  • Stop by the Trysport Niagara tent to ensure your wetsuit is fitting well and on correctly.  We’ll help you get it on right and help you with any last minute tips and tricks for your race.

Preview the Course AND the Exit

  • When you’re finished getting the suit on correctly, take some time to look over the course and get familiar with where you’re going,
  • Pending the shape of the course, look for the major turn buoys rather than any smaller intermediate buoys.  You don’t have to swim buoy to buoy, you simply need to get to the major corners and turns,
  • Look for landmarks behind the buoys on the course.  They are often easier to sight for than the buoy themselves.  Look for tall distinct trees, or buildings, or docks, etc.
  • MAKE SURE you also swim out, turn around, and look at the swim exit from the water.  Look for a landmark behind the swim exit so that when you’re out in the middle of the lake, looking back, you have a landmark to sight for – you won’t always be able to see the exit buoy,

Lick your Goggles

  • To prevent fogging, wet the lens of your goggles, and then lick them.  Put them back on your face without letting them rinse again.  You may have to do this several times, but it’s the only real thing that works to prevent fogging,

Examine the Entry in Front of You

  • If it’s a beach start, take some time to examine the lake bottom in the first 10 to 15m in front you.  Carefully feel around for any large rocks, or steep drop offs.  You want to know what you’re running into in the line you’ve chosen,

Take your Time

  • It’s common for people to bunch up at the point on the beech where the straightest and shortest line is to the first turn buoy.  Free space to swim unaffected by others and without being held up is more important than the straightest line.  Unless you’re in first place leading the swim you won’t likely get the straightest line and you’ll be fighting a crowed and swimming around others to get into position,
  • Start extra wide, where you have room to swim clear, or simply wait at the back so you can enter the water and swim your own swim, especially if you’re not as strong a swimmer as those at the front,
  • It doesn’t make sense to fight for the priority spot on the beach and then have to fight the ‘washing machine’ for the whole swim.  Even if you wait for 30s after the gun to swim a clean and clear line you’ll lose far less time than getting beat up in the washing machine and swimming in, around, under, and over other people (or you being swum over, etc.).  You’ll also come out of the water more composed and having spent less energy.




Contact Us

Aktiv Life Inc.


Retail Store and Office

15 Lock Street, #101

St. Catharines (Port Dalhousie),

ON, L2N 5B6

Wolf: 905.931.3472

Barb: 905.931.0984

Store Hours

FALL Hours

Monday: by appoitment

Tuesday: 3pm - 7pm

Wednesday: by appoitment

Thursday: 12:00 - 5:00

Friday: by appoitment

Saturday: 10:30 - 4:30

Sunday: by appoitment

* Extended hours available by appointment - text us 905.931.0984.  We can be available to help meet your needs, ANY TIME!

Any Questions?

Contact us directly:

(Wolf) 905.931.3472

(Barb) 905.931.0984


What's New?

Fall Masters Swimming will start as soon as the Kiwanis Pool Reopens (post construction)



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