i have never swam in open water and i am just getting back into the pool after years off, i have been in a cycling mode for about 10 years and have a decent fitness base. was just wondering how to workout in the pool to prepare for a 1/2 miler swim as part of a sprint tri ? any tips would be appreciated!!!
Try to build up a good base in the pool. Of course, open water is the best method, but if it's not available, then you should concentrate more on long workouts in the pool relative to the bike and run.
Swimming in open water is trickier because you don't have the black line to guide you in a straight line. Your only guide in the tri will be the bouys. Practice "sighting" in the pool. Pick a spot at the end of the pool. Each time you are going to breath, start the breath by lifting your head up just enough for your goggles to clear the water and see the spot before rolling your head to the side for the breath. (It takes a little coordination, but you'll get it with enough practice) When swimming in open water, you'll need to "sight" frequently to ensure you're swimming the straightest line possible. Your 1/2 mile can easily turn to 3/4 mile if you are zig zagging all over the place! Good luck!
I just did a Sprint Tri in open water. There were at least 3 people swimming in the wrong direction. 1 person was using a backstroke and going south instead of North. Some were swallowing water because the waves were choppy. I got there early and found a rhythm to the choppy waves and kept an eye out for the buoys.
Funny you mention backstroke, Griz... I got passed (yikes!) by a woman on her back in a lake-swim tri a couple weeks back. Wow!!! I'm still trying to figure out how the hell she was sighting. Maybe a GPS hooked to a shock collar? Anyway...
PS - I'm a 13-minute open water half-miler. This chick was super-fast!
GPS with a shock collar (marketed for swimming), that's a good idea. I'm going to steal it and get a patent.
yes longer workouts will be a great help
getting in and out of the waves can be a bit scary for someone new to the ocean. try just getting out there and bodysurfing for a while . You will have a blast and get comfy in the waves. then just try to swim the same way you do in the pool Maby a little more agressively. an ocean lesson with a few people is always fun and a great idea. I have taken some of my clients out one or a few at a time
see you in the big pool
bonnie from swimkids.net
I'll be doing my first open water swim (lake) in a few weeks. What would be an average time for a new swimmer to do a 1/2 mile in?
I'm trying my first open water event in a few weeks, too. I'm glad someone else swims backstroke, that;s what I do when I get tired! Now I wont feel so silly.
If the water is cold, shlould I use a full wet suit or a short one? Should I wear anything on my feet? Also, I was told to use nose plugs in choppy water. Good or bad advice?
it is easier to swim in open water if you choose and combine different strokes. keep in mind breathing technique is paramount and spatial orientation as well - you dont want to swim off-course as i saw a lot of freestylers did when i did the 2 mile swim last week on the hudson river.i did mostly side and breast strokes to keep me on course salt water is more buoyant as long as you have the luck with the tidal effect. when tidal effect is working against you . you take your time and swim zigzag . when there is choppy water -real choppy , you do dolphin dive to overcome the obstacle.
Good advice up there regarding sighting, practice lifting your head and doing a couple of "water polo" strokes (freestyle with your entire face above the water) so you can spot the buoy. Also, try to spot a bigger reference point in line with the buoy (building, tree, hill); with waves you may have a hard time seeing the buoy itself.
Get used to practice breathing on either side in your pool swims. When you go on open water you will end up breathing only on the opposite side of the wind; you should be comfortable breathing on either side.
As choppiness increases, you may want to keep your stroke entry closer to your shoulder and then do the extension underwater. Waves may knock your arm away if you extend too far above the water.
If possible, do some open water practice swims in the race location ahead of time. Thinks like water temperature, murkiness, and beach surface/depth are things you want to experience before the big day.