Originally Posted by TheyCallMeLazarus
I re-learnt swimming with TI and it is a pleasure now. Get the TI DVDs. They are worth every $ you pay.
For motivation, here is the greatest of all time TI swimmer:
Few but ripe.
I STRONGLY second getting experience open water swimming!
I was very confident swimming laps in the pool, and had swum in rivers in lakes and rivers as a kid.
BUT! When it came time for my first sprint tri, I aborted after the first leg of the swim, maybe 100 yards of a 400 yard swim. I was unnerved with all the people in my age group around and passing me, and subsequent groups passing me. Then I started thinking about the deeper water I was in. Had a bit of mental freakout and had the boat pick me up.
I bought a wetsuit for subsequent races, and that made a world of differencefor me. It gave me confidence because I knew it would help keep me afloat if I had to stop, esp. In rought waters. And yes, I do know how to swim in place-you'd be surprised at how many people don't.
Bottom line, get some open water experience in water that is much deeper than you are tall, and/or get a wetsuit.