Open Water Tips
Tagged: open water swimming
April 23, 2021 at 11:08 am #11611
So, I’ve been doing tris for a few years now and the swim still freaks me out. I live on the coast so most are ocean swims, done a few lake swims and even a couple of river swims. I can never seem to get comfortable in the water on race day.
Training in the ocean is no problem, just race day.
Looking for some tips to to get through the swim so I can get back on dry land and start racing.
April 23, 2021 at 1:50 pm #11614
- This topic was modified 2 years, 5 months ago by Joie.
What exactly bothers you?April 23, 2021 at 3:29 pm #11615Matt FitzgeraldKeymaster
I assume it’s the pack swimming element that scares you? If so, I can assure you NOBODY likes that. Practicing swimming in groups can help. That’s harder during a pandemic, but something to tuck away for the future. You can do it in pools as well as open water long as you’ve got people. Preparing mentally also helps–specifically, I would recommend mental rehearsal/visualization. And there’s nothing wrong with swimming in such a way as to minimize contact with others, for example by swimming at the inner or outer edge of the pack.April 24, 2021 at 1:59 am #11619Marius TParticipant
I don’t know your level of competitiveness but, from an average age-group triathlete perspective, is nothing wrong to start the swimming from the back because you are timed when you cross the start/finish line.
Also, don’t “race” the few hundred meters, let the body enter into the rhythm and don’t “rush the swim” in order to be done with it.
Try to implement open water drills when you swim alone: sighting, turn without touching the wall, stop swimming in the middle of the line as someone just block you and then resume the swimmingApril 26, 2021 at 8:01 am #11682
Even though I played water polo and have no issues with crowd swimming, I follow Matt’s stay out of the pack suggestion. Especially if the first part of the race is a long straight, starting well to the outside of everyone adds little distance to the overall race. More than likely the time will be made up being able to swim in relative clear vs. fighting the crowd.April 26, 2021 at 9:53 am #11684
Thanks everyone for the responses.
While no one likes to get kicked, pulled, etc in the water, what gets me the most is the fact that I am swimming in water where I cannot touch bottom. I swim in open water with a Kiefer Safer Swimmer mainly so I can be seen by boaters and surfers. I think this gives me confidence that is a little “false” when it comes to race day.
Some of the suggestions about “not racing the first few yards” is a good one.
What I was wondering is, “Does everyone have some anxiety about the swim”? If so, are there some “mind tips” that could help me focus away from the fact I’m swimming away from shore into deeper water?April 26, 2021 at 10:23 am #11686Matt FitzgeraldKeymaster
There are some helpful tips in here:April 26, 2021 at 10:40 am #11687
Great article Matt. Thanks for sharing.April 30, 2021 at 9:10 am #11767
The fact that you swim ocean open regularly puts you in a position well ahead of most of us. Thanks to being traumatized by Jaws at the age of 10, swimming in poor visibility for me is very unnerving where as depth of water makes zero difference.
One tip I ran across in just a brief google fest into open water swimming was to take your focus off the bottom and do something like focus on your hand/arm entry. Made me think about how that could help me as generally you can most always see your hands and arms regardless the visibility.
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