Open Water Swim Race — The Bump
Health & Exercise

Open Water Swim Race

Has anyone participated in an open water race while pregnant? I am only 13 weeks now and have swam my entire life. I am signed up for a mile open water race in May which i'll be 23 weeks at time of race. From what I've read at 23 weeks I should be feeling good enough to do this. I've maintained being active since getting BFP and swim at least twice a week now which will increase as the race gets closer.

My concern was mainly the beginning of the race when everyone darts towards the water at once and limbs are flying everywhere and there's the possibility of being kicked. But I already figured I'm not trying to win the race (this year :) ) so I can just hang back at the start. Other than that I don't see any other risk, as long as I'm not sprinting it will be like most other workouts with the exception of the colder ocean water. Which last year was a quite pleasant temperature suprisingly. Thoughts? Oh and I'm in process of switching from OB to midwife and will most certainly pose question to her prior to participating.

Re: Open Water Swim Race

  • mb314mb314
    250 Answers 500 Love Its 1000 Comments Third Anniversary
    What is the quality of water you will be swimming in?  That would be one big concern of mine.  I'm assuming the ocean where you will be will be relatively clean?  The only open water swims I've done have been in the East River and the Hudson River, and I would not swim in those while pregnant!

    I think hanging back at the start is important.  I got kicked really hard in a swim I did a few years ago (when I wasn't pregnant), and you will want to be careful about that. 

    FWIW, I swam up until the end of my first pregnancy in a pool.  I was slower, and I had to stop doing flip turns around 8 months, but other than that, I was able to handle it physically, and it felt great to swim.  I think physically you should be able to handle it if you train and don't sprint. 
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  • I was signed up for a triathlon and then got a BFP and would have been 7 weeks pregnant at the time of the tri. I ended up not doing it because of the open swim due to the poor quality of the water.


  • The race is in the atlantic ocean so i'm not too worried about the quality of the water. Maybe conditions of water because last year we had 6 foot swells for this particular race. The conditions were so bad the coast guard couldn't get the boat past the jetis to place the marker buoys. I think as long as I hang back at the start and don't try to sprint I will be okay. Thanks for the input though!
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