You live on a lake?! And it's marked off for lap swimming?!
You have got a really sweet set-up, then. Even with my new wetsuit, I can't do anything outdoors, because it's all iced over. And once it freezes, I'll have to wear a bright swim cap so that I don't get run over by any jet skis.
Yes, I live only about 3 blocks from the lake (we don't have lakefront) but we pay the dues so we can use it anytime. However, I am in Iowa so there will be no open water swimming until May, and even then, with a wetsuit only. So, I may only get 3-4 open water swims in before the event. So, not too great, but yes it's nice. We usually meet here on Saturday mornings and start with a swim, then bike, then load our bikes and run (just once or twice before the tri). We cannot help ourselves since it's so convenient. I guess I am lucky. Never saw it that way, as my husband and I are wanting to sell our house and move somewhere else. Maybe we should wait until after the triathlon.
Thanks for all of your help. I appreciate it.
Just popped in on this thread. I can't believe no one has pointed you toward Total Immersion (www.totalimmersion.net). I have been swimming since the early 1970s and have coached swimming since the late 1970s. I was successful at both, but technique always seemed like a hit or miss thing. Not until I came across the Total Immersion information nearly ten years ago did I become really consistent with my coaching. I have practiced the drill sequences myself and follow the program somewhat closely. I am swimming nearly as fast as I did in college on a fraction of the training in a body that is thirty years older.
Check out the Total Swim online magazine, they frequently have articles about technique and open water. In the shopping section you can find a book called "Triathlon Swimming Made Easy". I have not read this particular book, but own three other books from them that I refer to all the time. I highly recommend the "Freestyle Made Easy" DVD. They also bundle these for a modest package discount.
If you spend some quality pool time making your stroke more efficient this winter, the mile swim will go down much easier.
I think the reason people stray away from places like total immersion is the fact that swimming is not rocket science, neither is triathlon. With a few simple form work outs and some open water experience added with the drive and motivation, is all any aspiring triathlete needs. There is no need to pay for this advice, nor do you need to. The techniques and advice have been the same for the last century. Personally I think programs like total immersion are trying to re-invent the wheel, on top of it, they want you to pay for it! No way. I am not saying it doesn't work, just don't know why people would rather learn from a book rather than the experience built by veteran triathletes who have already acheived success. Just my .02......thanks for reading.
Actually, much has changed, not just in the last 100 years, but since I started coaching. Dara Torres was at the top of the swimming world in the 1980s. Years later she made a swimming comeback. Her coach pulled her aside after a couple laps and told her "We don't swim like that any more."
Much of the revolution in swim training and technique is due to the efforts of Bill Boomer. Total Immersion is an outgrowth of that.
You can troll for free advice and pick up a few nuggets here and there, but in the end you may find that the old addage still holds, "You get what you pay for."
Like I said before, I am sure total immersion works, but why pay for it. There are basics to every discipline regarding form/technique and no they haven't changed, the same success can be derived from the basics along with the drive and determination. They type of trainnig has changed but not the mechanics of how you train, its important to not get these 2 confused.