Fitness Tips/Videos

Open Water Swimming Class

Open water swimming is an important skill for a triathlete to learn and it doesn't need to be intimidating. If you are a beginner and live in the Davis Country Area and want to learn how to swim in the open water I will be offering classes this summer. To learn more message me directly. Happy Training,Coach Lora Erickson

Open water swimming is a crucial component of triathlons, as it challenges athletes to navigate through natural bodies of water like lakes, rivers, or oceans. Here are some key tips for open water swimming in triathlons:

  1. Practice in Open Water: Pool swimming is valuable for technique and fitness, but nothing can truly replicate the experience of open water swimming. Whenever possible, practice in the same type of water conditions you'll encounter on race day.
  2. Sighting: In open water, you can't rely on pool lane lines to guide you. Sighting involves lifting your head out of the water periodically to sight a landmark, buoy, or the next turn. Practice sighting to swim straight and stay on course without wasting energy.
  3. Drafting: Just like in cycling, drafting can save you energy in swimming. Try to swim behind or alongside another swimmer to reduce resistance and conserve energy. Be mindful of race rules regarding drafting distances.
  4. Buoy Turns: In many triathlons, you'll need to navigate around buoys marking the course. Practice making sharp turns around buoys without losing momentum or veering off course.
  5. Wetsuit Use: Wearing a wetsuit can provide buoyancy and warmth, but make sure it fits properly and doesn't restrict your range of motion. Practice swimming in your wetsuit before race day.
  6. Acclimatization: If possible, swim in the race venue beforehand to get accustomed to the water temperature, currents, and any other environmental factors.
  7. Pacing: Pace yourself appropriately for the swim leg of the triathlon. Don't start too fast and risk burning out early, but also don't hold back too much and get caught in congestion.
  8. Safety: Prioritize safety during open water swims. Make sure you're comfortable with your swimming abilities and have practiced swimming in open water conditions. Always swim with a buddy if possible, and follow race organizers' guidelines for water safety.
  9. Mental Preparation: Open water swimming can be intimidating, especially in crowded race conditions. Visualize success, stay calm, and focus on your technique and race strategy.
  10. Exiting the Water: Plan your transition from swimming to cycling. Practice removing your wetsuit quickly and efficiently so you can transition smoothly to the next leg of the race.

Remember, open water swimming can be unpredictable, so be prepared to adapt to changing conditions on race day. Regular practice and preparation are key to success in open water swimming for triathlons.

Open water swimming is an important skill for a triathlete to have but it can be intimidating when you first get started. It helps to have someone show you the ropes. I offer small group swimming skill classes in the Davis Country Area in the summer (June - September). If you want to get a head start of your skills, I also offer adult triathlon specific coaching at the indoor pool year-round. To learn more message me directly and we can get something set up.

Happy Training,

Coach Lora

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