One of the things we do a lot of through the summer is hold Open water swim training sessions.
Open water swimming is one of the things that people coming into the sport of triathlon have little or no experience of doing.
Swimming in open water can be a very scary and daunting for people so here are a few things to think about before you have your first open water swim experience.
1) Try to get to an open water swim venue for a training session before race day. Swimming in a pool in your wetsuit is ok to give you an idea of what the suit feels like but doesn’t give you an idea of the open water, dark water, people all around you, what is underneath you etc…… all these things play a part in your state of mind when you go into open water.
2) Remember in a wetsuit, YOU FLOAT! The wetsuit can be a safety aid as much as a swimming aid. Your traithlon wetsuit offers more than enough buoyancy that you are able to float on top of the water so there is NO chance of you sinking to the merky depths! Also, the bouyancy allows you to relax into your stroke, you don’t have to worry about your legs sinking (like many peoples do in a swimming pool) so distance per stroke can be put into practice.
3) Try to buy or rent a triathlon specific wetsuit. You can use your surfing, or scuba suits but they will not give you the advantage that a triathlon wetsuit will offer. Traithlon wetsuits are specifically designed to swim in, they are uncomfortably tight but very, very flexible and for a majority of people it is a faster option to have the wetsuit than to not have it. I personally recommend the brand ZOOT, they are a big US brand and make some of the best traithlon wetsuits on the market. if you want my advice on what suits to buy and where to buy them feel free to drop me an email.
4) RELAX, most people do not relax enough when they are swimming. Swimming is a strange sport in the fact that, the slower you swim and the more the relax, the faster you will go. Many people do not work hard enough on every individual stroke. It is better to travel further per stroke as apposed to turning your arms over like windmills and not catching the water…. QUALITY NOT QUANTITY!
5) Westuit lubricant is an essential part of any triathletes kit bag. They are most important for around the neck, this is one thing that new triathletes find out the hard way. Wetsuits have a tendency to rub at the back of the neck where the velcro is at the top of the zip, this i conjunction with the turning of your head to breath can leave a nasty mess at the back of your neck after even a small time in the water. The lubricant can also be used for around your wrists and ankles and will help you remove your wetsuit faster in T1. Products such as Bodyglide are my recommendation as they are wetsuit friendly (non petroleum based) unlike vaseline!
6) The MOST important thing of all…….. ENJOY IT! make sure that you enjoy the open water, swimming in open water is so much better than up and down in a pool. We all do this because we want to, not because we have to, so it is important to enjoy it and finish every swim wanting to do it again!
Right I will leave it there for now, I hope these points are useful and I will be back with some more in the near future.
If anyone would like more information about RG Actives open water swim sessions or triathlon wetsuits etc, please email me at email@example.com.
See you all soon,