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1st open water swim

Old 07-11-08, 10:35 AM
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ex4cylnotch
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1st open water swim

Im doing my 3rd tri this weekend, 1st oly distance and 1st open water swim. i have done some open water swimming to get a feel for the differences from a pool swim but im still a little nervous, anybody got any last minute tips/tricks for open water swimming.

thanks
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Old 07-11-08, 10:42 AM
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I just did my 1st tri last weekend, in Lake Michigan. I would say DONT start off hard. Swim at about 70% and build up to the pace you are comfortable racing at. If you start off too fast you will not be able to relax. I felt I would have had a much better swim if I built into it.
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Old 07-11-08, 01:19 PM
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Scout the course and plan a strategy for the beginning of the swim. If there is a bouy that you have to turn around early, make sure and don't get pinned to the inside. Take a smoother outside line to stay in rythym even though it might be a longer route.
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Old 07-11-08, 01:20 PM
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make sure and warm up and if you can, swim out on the course and see if there are other landmarks besides bouys that you can sight while swimming that could help keep you straight & on course
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Old 07-11-08, 01:21 PM
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If you are a strong swimmer, don't be shy about getting out in front on the start.
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Old 07-12-08, 06:40 PM
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And if you are a nervous swimmer, don't be shy about starting at the back of your wave
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Old 07-14-08, 12:22 PM
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well thanks to all for the tips, everything was ok for about 700 meters(1.5k swim) after that my form fell apart. i alternated between dog-paddle and swimming the rest the way never getting back into a rhythm. i learned alot yesterday, in that i need spend more time swimming, and take more lessons.

again thanks for the tips.
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Old 08-19-08, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by ex4cylnotch View Post
well thanks to all for the tips, everything was ok for about 700 meters(1.5k swim) after that my form fell apart. i alternated between dog-paddle and swimming the rest the way never getting back into a rhythm. i learned alot yesterday, in that i need spend more time swimming, and take more lessons.

again thanks for the tips.

So, given that you've done lots of swimming in pools and just a little in open water, is it safe to say that the difference is huge?

I'm doing my first open water tri this weekend. I've swam in the lake a few times to get a feel for it. It seems to be much harder than swimming in a pool, but the wetsuit provides so much buoyancy that I'm hoping I won't suffer too much.

The waves, cold water and nearly zero viability are all unexpectedly difficult to deal with. I suspect that other swimmers in the tri will also present a new challenge.
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Old 08-19-08, 09:48 AM
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For OW beginners out there: most important is not to be scared.
I've done 5 lake tris so far and still haven't figured out the swim. Goes well for a while, then it all falls apart. I can easily swim the distances in a pool...
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Old 08-20-08, 12:56 PM
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I can mirror the comments of "lake vs pool" I experience a very nervous sensation in the lake that I do not in the pool. I have been able to adjust a little by really getting a good warm up and by slowing down...

The mind can be such a terrible thing! (ha)

Good luck to everyone and if you ever figure out a way to replicate pool performance in the lake..let me know!

Oh and for the record... I swam in a continous pool at first, and had a little trouble transitioning into the pool... (i switched over becasue chapter 13 of total immersion basically said "do not swim in a continuous to learn")
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Old 08-20-08, 03:57 PM
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You should get some friends together like this guy & practice: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r3S0wu4Zbfk
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Old 08-22-08, 07:44 AM
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Originally Posted by chrisuletz View Post
For OW beginners out there: most important is not to be scared.
I've done 5 lake tris so far and still haven't figured out the swim. Goes well for a while, then it all falls apart. I can easily swim the distances in a pool...
this is exactly what happens to me, i get nervous and about 1/2 way thru the swim i fall apart and end up dog paddling. i have done 2 lake OW swims so far. hopefully i will eventually figure the swim part out.
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Old 08-22-08, 02:09 PM
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OWS and pool swimming are 2 completely different sports, sort of like road and mountain biking. If you stop expecting to swim in a lake like you do in a pool that will help to relieve some of the stress and expectations you put on yourself.

Try not to think about being in a lake. Forget about everyone else. Forget about times. Just breathe and focus on your rhythm. Remember to look up now and then to sight your line. Until you're very comfortable in the lake, don't try to push the speed. You'll tire yourself out and then panic over the distance you have left to go.

I've done 5 tris. The lake swim is always trippy and I'm still not always comfortable. The key is to not overthink it.
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