Slaying the Open Water Swim Part 3!!!

As indicated previously, open water swimming has been an ongoing battle for me.  In the pool I can easily cover the distance and in the open water I should be able to easily cover the distance.  As I am not competing in a triathlon till next year I have some time to iron this out.  Difficulty lies in the reduction in available months the local lake temperatures will cooperate.

I outlined my earlier issues and diagnosed my problems in two earlier posts:  part 1 here and part 2 here.  So the ground work and the analysis has been laid.  Since then I have added sighting and breathing practice sessions to my swim training sessions and I have worked some issues out that could be resolved in a pool.  On Saturday I have another open water swim opportunity so I wanted to come up with a game plan and setup definitions for success.  This is important as it gives me a very attainable and clear goal to shoot for.

Primary goal: I will not get myself into a crawl before I reach the first buoy. Often I wear out my arms by panicking and getting out of swim formation before I really even start.  I plan to put my head down and not stop swimming till I get to the second buoy and the shallow area to stand.  If this is the only thing I do on Saturday I will be very happy with myself.  This is a major first step I need to overcome to become a good or adequate open water swimmer.

Secondary goal: Keep my breathing steady and use a 3 stroke to breathing pattern and sight ever 3 sets or so. I have practiced breathing and sighting and believe that I have the mechanics worked out at this point.

Secondary goal: Finish all 850 meters or so without getting into a crawl.  This is really a minor goal, but figured I would set it up just in case things go really well from the primary goal, then I have another goal to aim for.

So that is it. That is my plan and definition for success.  I think having this goal set, while it may seem a little low, it is the most important piece to make the remainder of my open swim goals possible.  Til next time…

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9 comments

  1. Determination will get you there my man !! go on and go forth ! tomorrows is one of my buddies open water swim trials, your post reminds me of him,

  2. Thanks. I believe the only way to get better is to figure out the situation, figure what can be done to solve the problem and come up with a plan to resolve the issue. Should be fun to see how things play out tomorrow.

  3. […] will just have to be really careful and not add too much stress.  I might even just settle for my smaller primary goal and work on swimming to the first buoy and back several […]

  4. Can you clarify to me what you mean by getting into a crawl?

    1. For me it is almost a modified doggie paddle. I am no longer flat in the water but upright leaning forward a bit with my head out of water. I start to paddle with my arms and push with my legs. It makes me super tired when I get into this position instead of staying in a swimming position.

      1. Oh, I see. I’m assuming this happens when you’re starting to get really tired? If you don’t mind, I’ll try and get some suggestions posted to my blog once I get a minute. I’ll let you know if I have more questions.

  5. […] of working out including running 4.3 miles, not bad for just a couple of runs for me.  Also, I posted that I was still going to do the open water swim on Saturday.  When I awoke, my blood pressure was […]

  6. Actually I do it before I get tired, almost an immediate panic. I believe it was caused from not practicing citing enough. So i would start my swim and before i was at the first buoy I would pull myself up and start crawling, trying to make sure I was going in the direction, also panicking a little bit. I need to stay in a swimming position and not use up as much energy.

  7. […] that open water did not equal pool swimming, I panicked and struggled as I got to the first buoy(detailed in 3 part series starting here).  Unfortunately the season ended and I did not get much farther than a mile or so.  I felt […]

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