So my hunch was right: My freestyle time IS slower than my sidestroke!
Last week I swam 500 meters of mostly sidestroke in 15:56. This week I swam 500 meters freestyle (head out of water) in 16:42. So do I go for the morale boost of completing my first-ever freestyle swim at Sunday’s triathlon — or go for a better time using a stroke that doesn‘t wear me out as much?
It’s possible that in the lake, freestyle would give me a slight advantage in that I could better see where I was going and maybe swim a more direct route around the buoys. (I remember last year I got slightly off course at one point.)
But the reality is, I’m going to be one of the last swimmers out of the lake whichever stroke I use. So I guess I’ll start out freestyle and see how it goes.
I’d like to beat last year’s overall triathlon time of 1:57, but the biggest chunk of that is likely to come in the bike segment — and it has more to do with having a better bike than being in better shape. Last year it took me 65 minutes to ride 20K on a mountain bike. Earlier this week I did the same course in 55 minutes on my antique road bike, but that’s without a swim beforehand.
I doubt I can surpass last year’s 30 minute 5K run. But ultimately I don’t want to get too caught up in what the clock says and just have fun.