Pool Swim Vs Open Water Swims in Triathlons

by Pool Builders on 09-06-2010 in Articles

There seems to be many sprint triathlons with pool swims these days. I actually think this is quite a good thing in terms of getting those interested in triathlon to give it a whirl. Completing an open water swim as part of your first triathlon can be quite intimidating and having a pool swim allows those that would otherwise pass on the sport to become involved.

Pros to pool swim triathlons:

1) Less intimidating to the new triathlete.
2) Safer. A pool is a much more controlled environment and as a result help is always very close by.
3) More accessible. There are pools in areas where there are no lakes. As a result, triathlons are now available to those that don't have access to a lake or ocean.

Cons to the pool swim triathlon:

1) Greatly favors those with a competitive swim background especially on each and every flip turn.
2) Takes an exciting element out of the sport for those who enjoy the tactics and gamesmanship found in a group start or beach start to a triathlon.
3) No need to sight and again this favors those with a competitive swim background. Competitive swimmers have grown up in the pool and are not use to sighting. This is at least a distraction to those that already have quite an advantage over those who are relatively new to swimming.

The pool swim I believe is here to stay when it comes to competitive triathlons. It is a great way to get started in the sport and can even be a great niche for those that want to capitalize on their strong competitive swimming background. The pool swim in general has been good for the sport of triathlon and has opened the door to many areas that would otherwise not be able to offer the sport of triathlon.

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