“The swim is the biggest barrier to entry in triathlon,” Polloreno says. If the swim is your “limiter”—your least proficient of the three sports—or you’re worried about the swim start, look for races with pool or lake swims. Also consider how the start is organized. Most races start in waves, meaning competitors are divided into many groups that begin the swim in intervals. Some events, however, may have a mass start in which all competitors begin together.