Chicago Triathlon Open Water Swim Clinic ….

Last Friday a few friends and I headed downtown to experience an open  water swim clinic organized by Lifetime Fitness and the Chicago Triathlon.  It was the kickoff party to the Chicago Triathlon training season!


The clinic was $20 and included a box lunch + drink at the Park Plaza Grill in Millennium Park, open water swim instruction (or time trial for the more experienced), 2 beers, ice cream, a goodie bag and loads of fun, fun, fun.   We checked in at the Park Plaza Grill around noon for the 1pm start.  We had our own area, were body marked and got to meet up with friends while we lunched.  I know the “body marking” seems pretty official for a swim clinic but it was an easy way for them to keep track of us, our bags, and this made bag check super easy.  A lot of photos in this post are courtesy of the Lifetime Triathlon photog. 

Open Water Swim Clinic_check in

Speaking of friends, it’s always good to know crazy F’N Runners people who are willing to skip work on a Friday to go downtown to see if their wetsuit will really keep them afloat.  F’N Runners from front left:  Julie, Betsy, Suzanne, & Kate.  Back left:  Don, Me, Susan, Amanda W, Michelle, & Ed.

Open Water Swim Clinic

After lunch we suited up in our wetsuits for a 1.5 mile wetsuit “waddle” or “dash” to the beach.  It was a sweaty, hot leisurely run to the beach but first Lifetime Fitness and the Chicago Triathlon toured us around the park and gave the tourists a real show.  Push-ups, jumping jacks, mountain climbers in the Millennium Park fountains.

Open Water Swim Clinic_fountains

Photos by the symphony pits:

Open Water Swim Clinic_symphony

Then the dash to the beach in our wetsuits!

Wetsuit Waddle

   Wetsuit Waddle_general

Once we got the beach, it was swim instruction, swimming and overall clowning around.  The water was cold, breathtaking with Lake Michigan being a cool 61 degrees!   Fun!! 

Open Water Swim Clinic_swim    Open Water Swim Clinic_water

This clinic was a TOTAL blast. Possibly because I was with a bunch of people I know & “love”.  Possibly because the instructors were all super cool and actually gave good tips that were useful and applicable to real life open water TRI swimming.  Partially cuz any day is a good day to skip work and go drink beer work on your open water skills.  This clinic was as much party as it was clinic and the $20 price tag was cheap for everything that we received.  However, if $20 is beyond your budget but you are still interested in some open water swim help, the Chicago Triathlon is offering open water swim clinics a couple times a month for $5, wetsuit use included for the first 50 participants.  The next one is TUE, June 25th at 6pm.  Here is the link to the FB event HERE.  Or maybe you should just go like the Chicago Triathlon Facebook page HERE so you’ll be up to date on all their upcoming clinics & events. 

Cover Photo

Triathlon is one of those things that may seem intimidating at first look but the majority of those who participate are doing so for fitness.  To test themselves.  To challenge themselves.  To step outside their comfort zones and do something that will make them stronger mentally and physically.  This is why I love triathlon.  This is why ….. as much as I bitch complain about the swimming being an inconvenience and how I dislike going to the pool …. it’s the bare bones reasoning of why I keep coming back. 

If you are interested in triathlon or signed up for one this year,  I’d strongly recommend checking out one of these clinics.   Even if you’re a pro at the open water swim, it will force you to put on your wetsuit and get in the cold water your feet wet.  This is cheap clinic to help people get over their fear of the open water swim, or help them to get more comfortable in the water.  Big win in my opinion.  I’ll definitely go back and do another one if I can work it out with the family.  And to be honest, this may even sway me toward the Chicago TRI sometime in the future.  Thanks, Chicago Triathlon

** Give it a TRI ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

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