10 Little Known Master Swimming Facts Every Triathlete Should Know

Many beginners training for a triathlon swim operate under the mistaken assumption that Masters swim teams (coached group workouts comprised of swimmers 18 years or older) are the realm of top athletes, who have been spent the majority of their lives swimming competitively.

Triathlon Masters Swimming


Those who work up the courage to attend a Masters workout often complain of feeling isolated. These disillusioned triathletes come away feeling that Masters workouts are no place for novices.

The truth, however, is that only 20% of those working out with a Masters team are training for a competitive triathlon swim or some other competitive swim event. The remaining 80% of participants are merely interested in improving their fitness levels.

Therefore, even if you are used to training solo, and the idea of swimming with a Masters team slightly intimidates you, mull it over anyway. Both beginning and veteran triathletes can reap the benefits of Masters swimming.

Here are 10 things you should know to help you get the most out of training with a Masters team:

1.   Being on time is crucial. Show respect for the coach and your fellow athletes by arriving on time.

2.  It is okay to be a beginner. As a matter of fact, the coach and most of the other swimmers will realize it, and will be eager to help out.

3.  Different groups have different goals. Know what you expect to achieve with a Masters team in advance and articulate your goals to the coach. Most coaches are agreeable to working with swimmers of all levels. If not, there is bound to be another team in your city that matches your goals more closely.

4.   Questions are your friends. Asking questions will help you learn the basics, so do not hesitate to ask them. Within the first week, you should know how to read the clock and also understand lane order.

5. Rest Up. Training for a triathlon swim is challenging, so make sure to get plenty of rest. Be courteous and move to a slower lane if you cannot keep up in your lane.

6.   Keeping a positive attitude is essential. It will make your training sessions seem less taxing.

7.   Learn to swim the proper patterns. In most pools, there is line in the center of the lane. Always staying to the right of the line allows all swimmers to share the lane comfortably.

8.  Be sociable – it’s not just for the Internet. Take the time to introduce yourself to your lane mates before beginning your workout. Remember, training for a triathlon swim takes time, and knowing your fellow swimmers will ensure a more pleasant workout experience.

9.  Refrain from being a “lane hog”. If someone touches your foot to pass, keep swimming to the right or stop at the next wall and let them. Even the best swimmers get passed at times, so do not take offense.

10.   Remember your goal. Remember, according to the website at USMS.org, the goal of the Masters swim program is to help you improve your fitness level and/or train for specific goals while promoting a healthy lifestyle through the fellowship of like minded individuals.

Good luck!


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