first open water swim - question

Discussion in 'Triathlon' started by Teslar, Jun 17, 2003.

  1. Teslar

    Teslar Guest

    Hi all, I'm doing my first open water swim soon, the Bruce sprint in Lochore Scotland. Any tips for
    me, I'm an age grouper with a fairly slow swim time just happy to compete at some level but don't
    want to get rescued :)

    Tom
    p.s must mention the excellent deal I got on my wet suit. TriUK sold me an ORCA Predator2 for the
    price of a speed suit because they could not get my size in time. excellent service eh!
     
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  2. Ken

    Ken Guest

    "Teslar" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > Hi all, I'm doing my first open water swim soon, the Bruce sprint in Lochore Scotland. Any tips
    > for me, I'm an age grouper with a fairly slow swim time just happy to compete at some level but
    > don't want to get rescued :)
    >
    > Tom
    > p.s must mention the excellent deal I got on my wet suit. TriUK sold me an ORCA Predator2 for the
    > price of a speed suit because they could not get my size in time. excellent service eh!

    Very brave - first Open Water swim in Scotland! You must like the cold. My first tri was an open
    water swim in sunny Nottingham and my advice from that is:
    - get at the back or at the side of the main pack. That way you will have some clear water rather
    than being knocked around.
    - relax, don't panic and have faith on your ability. If need be do some breast stroke to relax, get
    calm and get your bearings. I had a few mini "panics" when it dawned on me that the water was dark
    and there were no lines on the bottom to follow.
    - work out where the course goes before you get into the water. Practice sighting in the pool. I
    must have swum twice the distance on my first open water swim just from zig zagging around.
    - and the main thing, enjoy it. Once you relax, open water swimming is excellent - so much more
    enjoyable than ploughing up and down the pool. I recently did one where the water was so clear you
    could see right to the bottom - weeds, fish, the lot. I almost forgot I was racing!

    Have a great race.
     
  3. Bernard

    Bernard Guest

    Hi, I was last sunday in the same position. I was almost freaked, but then I swum on but in 35 min
    for what seemed afterwards 1300m instead of 1500m, lucky me. I left in the complete race about 40
    people after me, so the swim, as it was scarry, is not the end. I poste hereafter some reactions
    I've became on my questions, it might be interesting for you:

    >"Bernard" <bernard> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > Hi,
    >
    > I am training for a 1/4 triathlon: 1500 m swim. I never have swimmed in open water. Will swimming
    > in open water with a wetsuit delay my time, or will I go faster? What other conditions will I
    > take in concern?
    > Note: cause of bad weather conditions in my country. Bernard

    It will make the swim easier and faster. The biggest problem with open water swimming is swimming a
    straight line. So, if your time is slower than the pool swims, it's not because of the wetsuit
    (unless it's a bad fitting wetsuit) but rather because you were swimming crooked.

    Learning to spot your course properly and swim straight takes practice. Most swimmers look up
    (forward) about every 6-8 strokes. The more strokes between sighting your direction the better -
    provided you swam straight between course sightings. On the otherhand, less strokes between sighting
    your direction can also be better if it helps you swim straighter. As you can tell, it takes
    practice to find the best match between frequency of times you need to look up/forward to sight and
    swimming level and fast.

    Joe M
     
  4. Teslar <[email protected]> wrote:
    > Hi all, I'm doing my first open water swim soon, the Bruce sprint in Lochore Scotland. Any tips
    > for me, I'm an age grouper with a fairly slow swim time just happy to compete at some level but
    > don't want to get rescued :)

    Go swim in the open water with your wetsuit at least once before the race.

    Getting the wetsuit on properly can make a big difference in whether you can extend your arms easily
    or not. First time I tried swimming in a wetsuit I hadn't pulled the material up enough to give my
    shoulders freedom of movement. Took much more energy than it should have.

    Also, you may find that your wetsuit chafes in places (say, your neck). Test this out with a short,
    non-race swim. It'll teach you where you want to put bodyglide the next time. :)

    And do use bodyglide or some other non-petrolium lubricant. Most of the wetsuit manufacturers
    specifically say not to use vaseline.

    -Dave

    --
    work: dga - at - lcs.mit.edu me: angio - at - pobox.com MIT Laboratory for Computer Science
    http://www.angio.net/ (note that my reply-to address is vaguely despammed...) bulk emailers: I do
    not accept unsolicited email. Do not mail me.
     
  5. Justin Rea

    Justin Rea Guest

    Get in open water and swim with the new suit. Practice swiming in a straight line by lining up an
    object on the shore.

    If there are a large number of competitors on the day, then my best advice is to keep out of their
    way! I was in a sprint race last weekend with almost 300 starters. A mass swim start is always a
    real melee. Either keep back, or keep to the side of the pack.

    Try and keep your breathing in the same rhythm as in your training. Get on someone's toes who is
    going in the right direction and relax into it. If you can't find a draft, then make sure you
    check on the bouy fairly frequently. It is easy to drift off the race line if you have been used
    to lane swimming.

    Save the kicks for the bike and run.

    Good luck. "Teslar" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Hi all, I'm doing my first open water swim soon, the Bruce sprint in Lochore Scotland. Any tips
    > for me, I'm an age grouper with a fairly slow swim time just happy to compete at some level but
    > don't want to get rescued :)
    >
    > Tom
    > p.s must mention the excellent deal I got on my wet suit. TriUK sold me an ORCA Predator2 for the
    > price of a speed suit because they could not get my size in time. excellent service eh!
     
  6. Topdog

    Topdog Guest

    > Learning to spot your course properly and swim straight takes practice. Most swimmers look up
    > (forward) about every 6-8 strokes. The more strokes between sighting your direction the better -
    > provided you swam straight between course sightings. On the otherhand, less strokes between
    > sighting your direction can also be better if it helps you swim straighter. As you can tell, it
    > takes practice to find the best match between frequency of times you need to look up/forward to
    > sight and swimming level and fast.

    A followup to sighting - One other possibility is if you can see something when you breathe, you can
    sight off that. For instance, if the sun is visible, you can navigate from it's position. If it
    stays in the same spot, you are (roughly) on course. This takes some work to get used to, but it can
    cut down on how often you have to sight by a good bit. It's not supposed to be a replacement, just
    an aid in keeping you on course.
     
  7. Jeff Cook

    Jeff Cook Guest

    [email protected] (topdog) wrote in news:[email protected]:

    > A followup to sighting - One other possibility is if you can see something when you breathe, you
    > can sight off that. For instance, if the sun is visible, you can navigate from it's position. If
    > it stays in the same spot, you are (roughly) on course. This takes some work to get used to, but
    > it can cut down on how often you have to sight by a good bit. It's not supposed to be a
    > replacement, just an aid in keeping you on course.
    >

    A further follow up on sighting -

    Between occasional real sightings of the next buoy or finish chute:-

    1. If there is no sun, then distinct clouds can do the same thing. (assuming they aren't
    scudding across the sky in a gale!). A cloud behind the next buoy can be easier to spot that
    the buoy itself. (Especially if the race director has put out round orange buoys and issued
    orange swim caps!)

    2. Headlands, offshore islands or other landmarks, like trees and houses can be used as well.

    3. If there is an ocean swell running, then note your angle to the swell. Pacific Islanders
    navigated thousand of miles of ocean this way.

    4. In clear water, bottom features like rocks can be used too. Even the ripples in a sandy bottom.

    Also. Before the race, always get into the water near the finish chute and look inshore. Try to
    memorise any distinctive landmarks like trees, toilet blocks etc., this will help you on your
    turn for home.

    Also be aware of currents. You might find that you are constantly having to adjust your course
    to (say) the left. Could be a current running that way, so start aiming deliberately to the left
    to counteract it, otherwise you'll find yourself swimming a big loop, with a tough up-current
    bit at the end.

    HTH

    Cheers

    Jeff
     
  8. Urban Bettag

    Urban Bettag Guest

    I have the same wetsuit and did my first open water swim from Alcatraz. Water in Scotland can be
    quite cold and I can strongly recommend a neoprene swimming cap. The cap did it for me and kept my
    head warm while I was for 1h in 15C water.
     
  9. Keith

    Keith Guest

    In message <[email protected]>, Teslar <[email protected]> writes
    >Hi all, I'm doing my first open water swim soon, the Bruce sprint in Lochore Scotland. Any tips for
    >me, I'm an age grouper with a fairly slow swim time just happy to compete at some level but don't
    >want to get rescued :)
    >
    >Tom
    >p.s must mention the excellent deal I got on my wet suit. TriUK sold me an ORCA Predator2 for the
    > price of a speed suit because they could not get my size in time. excellent service eh!
    >
    >
    Hi Tom

    I too have recently completed my first open water swim (first tri too), and even after 10 months
    hard swimming training (hard for me anyway!) I found the experience quite different from my pool
    training:-

    Obviously the water was cold, but the wetsuit soon helped as did the swim cap, but what I found new
    and awkward was the constant cold face/warmer face as you take your breaths. It was only towards the
    end that my face either adapted or numbed up completely :)

    All the other posters have given you excellent advice, the only thing that I would add is that if
    you are swimming around any bouys ...

    What happened to me is that ALL the competitors cut in close and it really is like trying to swim in
    a lift! Talk about a tin of sardines!!

    Anyway enjoy yourself, and good luck!

    --
    Keith
     
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