training in the ocean?

Discussion in 'Triathlon' started by Eric Smith, Apr 22, 2003.

  1. Eric Smith

    Eric Smith Guest

    Hello all.

    I will be moving to Bermuda next month and I will be training for a triathlon there. I ran
    competitively in high school and college, but since graduating in '99, I have mainly been lifting
    weights and doing some rowing, but no real aerobic workouts. I want to eventually be able to do at
    least an Olympic distance triathlon, but I am know I probably need close to a year (if not more) to
    get back close to the shape I was in a few years back.

    I feel relatively confident in my running training, when I was in shape in college I could run sub
    26 min for the 8k and I was a 4:30ish miler. I am relatively confident about biking, I used to get
    around only by bike when I lived in Rochester NY - that was on a hybrid bike with toe clips - so I
    will need to get used to a "real" bike (I will be getting the Specialized Allez Elite 18 - I don't
    want to get a tri bike yet in case I really suck). On the hybrid I could hold close to 30mph for
    slight distances (5-10 miles), but that was pretty flat.

    At the end of college I attempted to train for a triathlon, but I never could train well enough in
    the winters, and I tended to get sick from swimming in the pool (as in virus, not as in motion). So
    now that I will be in Bermuda, I can train year round - I am prepared for the running and biking
    side of things. But I am not that great at swimming. I have good form, and I'm strong for sprints -
    but I think my mile time isn't so great - my best was 30mins for a mile in a pool (but I can't
    flipturn). I don't really like the pool, and I was wondering if there is anything special about
    training in the ocean? It seems to me that it is an easy place to get swimming time in, and even on
    Christmas day it is "warm" enough to swim in just a swimsuit.

    I mainly want to know if there are any caveats of ocean training that I should keep in mind - is it
    bad to be in salt water and then go running/biking? Should I really have a wetsuit? What is the best
    way to determine distance when in the ocean? Or is it better to just go for time? I think I would
    largely be swimming parallel to the beach, or in sounds - but never really going out over the reefs.

    Also, if there are any triathletes here from Bermuda, please speak up!

    Thanks,

    Eric
     
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  2. Dan Becker

    Dan Becker Guest

    Eric Smith wrote:
    > I mainly want to know if there are any caveats of ocean training that I should keep in mind - is
    > it bad to be in salt water and then go running/biking? Should I really have a wetsuit? What is the
    > best way to determine distance when in the ocean? Or is it better to just go for time? I think I
    > would largely be swimming parallel to the beach, or in sounds - but never really going out over
    > the reefs.
    >

    I envy you Eric. It sounds like you are moving to triathlon Paradise.

    I think the main concern for your ocean swims should be safety. When I lived in Boca Raton, Florida,
    a group of us pool-trained triathletes would meet for open-water ocean swims for 1 to 2 miles every
    Sunday. We swam parallel to the beach in the Atlantic Ocean about 50 yards out beyond the breakers.

    1) Always swim with buddies. You must have someone to call for help if you need assistance. Make
    sure your buddies watch out for each other. If someone has to leave the water, they should walk
    along with the swimmers so that everyone knows where everyone is. We once had a swimmer do half a
    mile, leave the water and go home, and everyone else wasted time and the emergency vehicle's time
    looking for the missing person.
    2) Always wear a bright swim cap. Pleasure boats and jet skis are probably your biggest danger as it
    is very hard to see swimmers while moving at speed.
    3) Beware of critters. We never wore wetsuits, but the occasional jelly fish swarm or red tide would
    cut our swims short. We swam over reefs and never had any problems other than the occasional sea
    turtle or barracuda eye-balling us.
    4) Beware of others. We swam early morning on Sundays. Occasionally you had to beware of a shore
    fisherman or surfers. They usually saw you and avoided you.

    --
    Thanks, Dan web: http://www.io.com/~beckerdo
     
  3. Eric Smith

    Eric Smith Guest

    I reread what I posted and thought I should clarify that I'm not moving to Bermuda just to train for
    a triathlon - I've never done a triathlon before - I'm moving there and getting married, starting a
    new job... but the good weather and opportunity for training year round made me rekindle my interest
    in doing a triathlon.

    Dan - thanks so much for the tips!

    > I envy you Eric. It sounds like you are moving to triathlon Paradise.

    Yeah, that was what hit me when my fiancee and I finalized our plans to move there. It is just a
    matter of finding (making) the time to train. There is a small group on the island that does local
    tris there, so I am going to hopefully see if I can hook up with them.

    > I think the main concern for your ocean swims should be safety. When I lived in Boca Raton,
    > Florida, a group of us pool-trained triathletes would meet for open-water ocean swims for 1 to 2
    > miles every Sunday. We swam parallel to the beach in the Atlantic Ocean about 50 yards out beyond
    > the breakers.
    >
    > 1) Always swim with buddies. You must have someone to call for help if you need assistance. Make
    > sure your buddies watch out for each other. If someone has to leave the water, they should walk
    > along with the swimmers so that everyone knows where everyone is. We once had a swimmer do half
    > a mile, leave the water and go home, and everyone else wasted time and the emergency vehicle's
    > time looking for the missing person.

    Ahh - good point, thanks. For some reason I overlooked that and feel foolish I didn't think of that.
    I was hoping to be able to train by myself - I like to train by myself as a way to find time to
    think over things and enjoy the time. Socially training always ends up competitive for me and I
    figure that is what races are for. But in terms of safety, that is crucial in swimming I imagine.

    > 2) Always wear a bright swim cap. Pleasure boats and jet skis are probably your biggest danger as
    > it is very hard to see swimmers while moving at speed.

    I don't currently own a swim cap - but I'll be sure to get one. The areas that I had in mind for
    swimming (if you are familiar with the island, I won't live that far from Coral/Elbow Beach, and
    Horeshoe Beach is also an option - I will live about 100 yards from the harbor, but I doubt think
    that is a safe/clean place to swim) aren't really areas that I've ever seen boats or jet skis - it
    is even feasible that they aren't allowed there. Or it could be that they are out beyond the reefs
    in that area - there are many reefs near the shore that help keep the water calm (and as a result,
    nearly crystal clear).

    > 3) Beware of critters. We never wore wetsuits, but the occasional jelly fish swarm or red tide
    > would cut our swims short. We swam over reefs and never had any problems other than the
    > occasional sea turtle or barracuda eye-balling us.

    Oh - excellent point. I know that they get Portuguese Man of War (men of war?) supposedly from March
    through July. Some areas get them worse than others. I've been swimming in these spots a few times
    in the past, but never had goggles - so I I have to admit that I have actually never looked all that
    much at the underwater life there (aside from visiting their aquarium).

    > 4) Beware of others. We swam early morning on Sundays. Occasionally you had to beware of a shore
    > fisherman or surfers. They usually saw you and avoided you.

    Again, I've never seen these at the areas where I was hoping to swim - so perhaps they aren't
    allowed, or the area just isn't condusive for what they would want.

    I know there are two areas that are supposedly "better" swim areas - calmer waters and less issues
    with jellyfish - so perhaps I will have to seek those out instead. I was hoping to avoid those
    because they are further from where I will be living, and I also thought ocean training might help
    for races that have rougher water.

    Thanks again for the tips - and I welcome any others as well. I am excited to get into it all. In
    order to stay motivated, I'm hoping to keep lots of stats - my heart rate, my gps location (not
    during swims
    - and probably not the HR during swims eihter), my times and distances and anything else I can think
    as well. I've found, at least as a runner, there are two types - people that love to run, and
    people that love to race. I hate to run (well, distance training bores me - I enjoy speedwork). I
    love to race - I'm competitive. So I'm hoping that the 3 sport training will help keep me
    interested and the new things to learn will help motivate me.

    Thanks,

    Eric
     
  4. Don't lie. We all know why you are moving down there.

    [email protected] (Eric Smith) wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > I reread what I posted and thought I should clarify that I'm not moving to Bermuda just to train
    > for a triathlon - I've never done a triathlon before - I'm moving there and getting married,
    > starting a new job... but the good weather and opportunity for training year round made me
    > rekindle my interest in doing a triathlon.
     
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