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vimier
March 23rd, 2012, 02:22 PM
If there was one piece of advice that you could give a new comer to open water swimming, what would it be? Keep in mind I do swim competitively, and have for around 14 years, just have not swam in an open water race.

magick17
March 23rd, 2012, 03:22 PM
in the end.. its all water...remember that in the back of your head when you feel like you're going to FREAK OUT..

and take a moment(pause) soak it in and enjoy whatever you are swimming in!!!

Smile at the kayakers!!

orca1946
March 26th, 2012, 12:05 PM
Since you are in Chicago & have the lake to use --- join or go to the lake when it warms up some and swim the route or distance. There are lots of others that will swim in the Big Shoulders swim & triathletes that swim off Ohio to gain a better feel for Open Water. I think that there are some clubs that you might join that will help you feel better in "deep" & "no wall" swims.

mjtyson
March 27th, 2012, 09:18 AM
Start towards the back in your first race. Despite what you might be thinking, it is disconcerting the first time to have others "in your lane."

LauraAswim
March 27th, 2012, 10:11 AM
Get creative in the pool now:

Do longer, continuous swims
Practice mid-pool sighting using sight objects like starting blocks
If you have a willing lane mate, have them swim RIGHT ON your feet and vice-versa to get used to people sharing your personal space
If you don't bilateral breathe, now might be time to try it on for size
If you know you're going to switch goggles, start wearing them now in the pool. I am so fussy about goggles that it took me a while to get used to a larger field of vision for my open water pair.
As soon as you can get outside, do it. Nothing prepares you for open water like open water.


I have spent an entire lifetime in the pool, and I forced myself out there into the deep last summer. I set a goal of a lake race, a river race, an ocean bay, and an ocean swim, and did all three types a few times over. It's a whole 'nother beast. I didn't instantly fall in love with it, and I will never give up the comfort of the Long Black Line, but it's cool, fun, and the people you'll meet are incredible. Be nice to the support guards and kayakers, too!

Underwater9
March 28th, 2012, 07:28 PM
I was a decent pool swimmer, but found that it did not immediately carry over to the open water - I wasn't even close to people who I could beat in the pool.

The MOST important thing for me for improving myself as an open water swimmer was race experience. I would just enter every race you can find. It's all about confidence - knowing that you can be a good open water swimmer. After 10-15 open water races, I became so much more comfortable in open water races, I could strategize and carry out that strategy, and it's even more fun.

Bottom Line: Swim a lot of races.

ViveBene
March 28th, 2012, 10:40 PM
If there was one piece of advice that you could give a new comer to open water swimming, what would it be? Keep in mind I do swim competitively, and have for around 14 years, just have not swum in an open water race.
One piece of advice: get into the open water.

One piece of advice for an OW meet: go long.

E=H2O
April 5th, 2012, 09:06 PM
Relax and have fun. Do some open water swimming before you enter a race.