Beginners' guide to swim events

When you signed up for your first swim event, it felt like aeons away. But now the big day's approaching and your stomach's full of butterflies, what can you do to prepare? From triathlon to distance swim, here's a practical guide to outdoor swimming events.

Entering a swim event is a great way to celebrate your outdoor swimming or work towards a goal. While some events are distinctly competitive, others are celebrations of outdoor swimming where the emphasis is on enjoyment. And many events help raise money and awareness of open water swimming.

Types of event

Events fall into two categories: swim events and multi-discipline events where you also run and/or cycle. Swimming events tend to attract swimmers (obviously!), but for a fair portion of those taking part in triathlon and aquathlon, swimming is their weakest discipline.


Swim then bike then run. You can choose from various distances (these may vary):