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Open Water Data & Tips

Posted By: gordo
Date: Tuesday, 17 July 2007, at 2:25 p.m.

Mat -- grab the tips at the bottom for the swim article.


Another workout -- we all seem to be getting the hang of this and really benefiting. This is one of the most important swim sessions that we do on Team Good Guys.

LAP // TIME // AVG // MAX // Last // Beach
1 // 11:59 // 119 // 142 // 142 // jog
2 // 11:46 // 140 // 150 // 150 // easy run
3 // 11:40 // 148 // 157 // 157 // fast run
4 // 11:49 // 154 // 160 // 160 // walk
5 // 11:56 // 156 // 159 // 160 // jog
= 59:10, 143 average

Note how deceptive the total HR average is to the true intensity of the swim. The entire swim was likely close to my max aerobic effort.

I played around with running or walking between laps. Walking seemed to be the most effective because it reduced the HR spike and I could swim the first 150m of the following lap better. When I ran fast, I had to back off a bit coming off the beach.

I'm almost certain that I'll use three-stroke at IMC. If I can swim this well at altitude then three-stroke at sea-level will be intense enough for the swim.


Watching others...

I was probably the fastest person swimming today (my Helix is worth at least 6s per 100 for me). Most of the people that I pass are not swimming -- I pass them when they are vertical, resting.

This got me thinking... the best aspect of the open water swim is learning to swim three-stroke for an hour without stopping. I can remember how hard that was for me when I started triathlon. If I was you... then I'd make that my priority.

When you sight... look forward, not up. Lift the head as little as possible and relax your kick. With three-stroke, I only need to check direction every 12-18 strokes. I need to sight much more with two-stroke, reducing economy.

As you fatigue, you will tend to shorten your stroke and increase cadence. Keep your stroke long, keep your stroking arm straight and push water straight back. My faster open water swimming is coming from improved stroke mechanics/economy -- there isn't a whole lot of increased fitness.

Start at a very easy pace and seek to hold that. Don't trust the way anything feels when you are stressed in a group situation.

As an example, my first lap average HR was 119 bpm but the speed is nearly identical to my final lap at 156 bpm -- I'd like to think that my swim fitness pretty reasonable as well.

Hope this helps,

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