Hey, I'm doing LA tri sprint too. I just did my first tri in June and I started training since Jan.
first of all, I hated Swimming, so I had to force myself to go swimming... swimming in the gym pool was ok but I needed to work on my forms and techniques so I decided to join a master swim team.
Witch helped me a lot and I also go to meet guys and some triathlete through the team.
So for me it was win-win situation.
Now I swim about 3 times a week plus running and biking, and lifting a bit.
I stop lifting heavy and focusing more on running and swimming.
I biked since when I was little, so just bike on weekends. I'm working on my weak parts. After my first tri, I've been a bit lazy, but we have two months to the race, and I need to get back on track...LOL
From my experience,
you should try some open water swim before the race to see/learn how it is to swim in the ocean, with hundreds of others, it's a bit different (OK totally different!) than just swimming alone. Some guys swimming next to you might hit u or kick you, or can't go fast because there are people right in front of you... etc.
And I do recommend doing some brick training, bike run combo, as well.
I did few before the race but now I know I should have done it more.
Before the race, you should be able to swim/bike/run a bit longer than the race distance too.
For ocean swim, LA Triathlon Club does a lot of those, in a morning and afternoon. They do it in Malibu, Santa Monica, Manhattan beach, all over the pace. It's pretty good social group too. so check it out.
If you are interested swimming with our team, feel free to message me.
U can come try swim with us and see if you like it or not.
For my first tri, I just tried to enjoy the race, and I did it was blast. (including, feeling my calves about to cramp while running was pretty insane experience but now its a good memory of mine...LOL)
Good luck with your first tri, I'm sure you will love it.