This article is from the Triathlon FAQ, by with numerous contributions by James Goddard others.
Most suburban areas have pools available for lap swimming. The YMCA
and health clubs are a good place to start. Many areas have city
recreational centers that also offer lap swimming. Often local high
schools or colleges will have a lap pool, call and ask if they allow
If you don't know about any in your area, US Masters Swimming offers a
searchable list of swim locations at
A great international list can be found at
Finding a place for open water swims in your area can be more
difficult. Many areas have lakes with public beaches but the swim
area is often cordoned off to a small, easily life guarded space. The
best bet is to ask other triathletes in your area where they train.