View Full Version : South Jersey - Open Water & Marathon Swimming Trade Secrets

July 27th, 2009, 10:10 AM
Our Ocean City Swim Club exists to promote open water swimming here in South Jersey, and our aquatic activities have expanded to cover paddling, surfski and anything that gets people out into the ocean. Since marathon swimming is my athletic pallet I thought I would post a few insights from questions that have come up this summer:

Wear Sunscreen - Waterman's Sunscreen from www.watermansappliedscience.com - I have been amazed at how fresher I feel sitting on a board or swimming for hours when the sun is not tearing up my skin. I don't walk out the door without the facestick, and the stuff stays on for all day swims in saltwater.

Ultimate Direction Water Bottles - Soft tip that won't knock your teeth out in the surf with a loop for clipping onto anything.

Swim faster - Don't always treat your open water workouts like an easy day, try what the guards call "In & Outs." From dry sand sprint in and out to just past the surf line. Regroup then sprint back in. Think of it as Quality 50's with a little more grit.

A&D ointment - Just when you thought you never needed to walk down the baby aisle again. This stays on and works a lot better than plane vaseline, and for long stuff you may need more protection than just the stick stuff.

Open Water Goggles - Pool goggles just may not work for everyone - For me, Barracudas, no headaches, enough pressure to stay on in waves, a fog free coating that works, and enough peripheral vision that I can watch for hazards and land marks.

Dolfin Ugglies - I hear sharks hate suits with more than 4 colors

DaFins - Fins aren't cheating, and these now have a permanent place in my open water beach swim bag. Great to give my shoulders a break and work on some hip flexor strength. Also great when we are coaching groups and need to be able to move fast.

Rigid Lifeguard Cans - Don't swim alone, and towing one of these is almost unnoticeable to me while very noticeable to boats.

Paddleboards - 12' stock boards are watercraft and can let you get into some waters where swimming in prohibited, also a great way to log miles and eliminate that front shoulder extending part of the stroke; Great way to workout with a partner by taking turns on the board while the other one swims

Protein, Carbs and Fat for the long stuff - Nutrition matters, and a little bit of all these works. Unless it is hot pure electrolyte drinks don't help as much. Of course I always have a GU pack tucked into my suit.

Shark Week - Just block that channel in August

Night swimming - If you are doing England or Catalina you gotta log time in the dark with an escort. Done more this year than ever before and it makes a difference.

Looking forward to seeing more people going longer and faster, and remember most of the scary stuff in the water is stuff we bring with us from land.

If you are in South Jersey: www.oceancityswimclub.org