Last post I identified the beast that is the focus of my open water swimming problems. The goal of this post is to look at those issues and address ways to correct them, resulting in a set of achievable goals for the last open water swim of the month in a couple of weeks. I believe the problems identified are fixable and it really will be a matter of finding actions that will help to correct the addressed issues and hence tame the beast. Most of the issues are compounded issues, so a few fixes and resolutions should go a long way.
- Don’t panic. Need to find a way to just stay calm, put my head down and swim.
- Keep swimming – This is a big one for me, I need to not stop swimming and avoid crawling so early. On my next open water swim I am going to make it a prime goal to not allow myself to start the crawl till I am at least at the second buoy and hopefully not at all. I will keep the goal small for now, I at least want to swim around the first buoy without stopping.
- Breathing – I started this Monday in my drills, I plan on continuing practicing it. Basically use a 3 stroke breath pattern. I need to practice sighting and not using sighting as a time to breath. So 3 stroke breath when not sighting and when I need to sight extend it tow 3 stokes head pop and sight stroke and breath. I know from experience I can go 5-6 strokes without breathing now. But if I stick to 3 strokes and actively aim to breath on every 3 rd stroke then I believe breathing will not be a problem. Also, practicing sighting and breathing rhythm also makes it more habit.
- Try not to crawl so much – this comes off of other issues, but there are other things I can do besides crawling. I can always roll over onto my back and catch my breath, hence saving my arms.
- Enjoy the swim and trust that practicing this in the pool will help on the day of the next open water swim.
There you go. I think if I can follow these and practice this I will be good in two weeks. I started working through my sighting and breathing issues on Monday’s swim practice and that appeared to work really well. Hopefully this will help me toward being a better open water swimmer. Till next time.