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Swim - mass start!

 
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simonp820




Joined: 21 May 2017
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 11:13 am    Post subject: Swim - mass start! Reply with quote

I recently completed my first Sprint Triathlon where the swim was in an outdoor pool and everyone was started off in 20 second waves. I'm signed up for a Sprint Plus this weekend which is not only my first open water swim (I've done a few practises locally) but also a mass start! I've checked the start list and there seems to well over be 100+ in my wave!!

Any tips?! My initial thoughts are to simply let everyone else go then jump in at the back when the mayhem has died down Smile

Thanks!
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SGreg




Joined: 30 Jun 2010
Posts: 863
Location: High Peak

PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 11:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What's the exact distance and your expected time ?

This IMO will have a huge impact on any advice given.
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iwaters




Joined: 06 Sep 2016
Posts: 278

PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 12:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you are a good swimmer, and I mean very good then the best place to be is right at the front. Go off hard then settle into your rythym. I like to line myself up with the firt buoy where possible.

If you are less fast and / or confident then start towards the back / side and let the fast swimmers go off ahead.

Be warned that the slower swimmers at the back are also generally the worst for swimming the wrong direction and swimming in to people so be prepared for some contact
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blindcider




Joined: 12 Sep 2013
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

IME as a slowish swimmer ignore the advice about staying wide, stay on the inside and swim the shortest line, the amount of people that swim way further than needed is ridiculous. The only issue I have found is often filtering back in for a turn buoy but they are often a bashfest anyway regardless of line
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simonp820




Joined: 21 May 2017
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 2:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks all. It's only 800m. I'm an ok swimmer (500m time is 10 mins) and quite confident even in open water. I reckon I can outswim many by getting away at the front but 100+ people just sounds manic!
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iwaters




Joined: 06 Sep 2016
Posts: 278

PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 4:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

simonp820 wrote:
Thanks all. It's only 800m. I'm an ok swimmer (500m time is 10 mins) and quite confident even in open water. I reckon I can outswim many by getting away at the front but 100+ people just sounds manic!


Depends on the level of the field. 10 mins for 500m is MOP for most races so you starting at the front is likely to see you swamped by the fast starters if there is a decent field.

For you I would start front of the middle. Go hard for the first 100m, that should clear you from the pack. If the people in front are slow there wont be that many to clear and if they are fast they will simply get out of your way.
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SGreg




Joined: 30 Jun 2010
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Location: High Peak

PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2017 8:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would be on the edge of the group though, give yourself an escape route. Its quite easy to go too hard and end up trapped and panicking. being near the edges gives you the option to bail out of the melee and recover for a bit.

I'm not saying swim out to the side of the group, but on the out/inside edge, just give yourself somewhere to go.
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Jorgan




Joined: 12 Nov 2007
Posts: 16414
Location: alles was ich bin, alles was ich war

PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2017 9:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

iwaters wrote:
simonp820 wrote:
Thanks all. It's only 800m. I'm an ok swimmer (500m time is 10 mins) and quite confident even in open water. I reckon I can outswim many by getting away at the front but 100+ people just sounds manic!


Depends on the level of the field. 10 mins for 500m is MOP for most races so you starting at the front is likely to see you swamped by the fast starters if there is a decent field.

For you I would start front of the middle. Go hard for the first 100m, that should clear you from the pack. If the people in front are slow there wont be that many to clear and if they are fast they will simply get out of your way.


Agreed; it's likely that there will be a fair few in your wave that are faster than that. I'd swim the first 500 in under 8:00 over a Sprint dist (wetsuit) and I am never first out of the water (or even close).

Based on that, I'd just pick the shortest line and start a few people back. Keep your head low when breathing during the starting melee, to help prevent your goggles setting knocked.
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simonp820




Joined: 21 May 2017
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Fri Jun 23, 2017 7:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks all - great advice. Will let you know how it goes!
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simonp820




Joined: 21 May 2017
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Sat Jun 24, 2017 7:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Went well! Was quite a long start line (started in the water) so after a few seconds there was loads of room!

Thanks all - really enjoyed it.
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