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macorn
July 20th, 2012, 11:17 AM
Hi All,
I've been swimming for about a year now, and the last few months I've started to take much more of an interest and kicked up my routines.

I do 2-3k (yards and meters; pool switches) 4-5 times week, and I usually average about and hour for 3km.

I just signed up for an OW mile in 1.5months, which I don't think I'll have too much trouble with, but I'm also considering a current assisted 10k (they say it swims like a 6k, avg times are about 2hrs) at the end of Sept, which gives me just about two months...so:

1. Is it feasible to train for this kind of race in that amount of time?
2. What kind of diet is optimal for this kind of training? I've been operating in a 500kcal deficit for the last few months, but I sort of think that I should be eating more in preparation for an event of this kind.
3. Water temps should be 65-70F for these races - is a wetsuit necessary for this kind of temp?

I've searched these forums and the net for answers, but in the end it seemed prudent to just ask, as the other resources weren't yielding much. Thanks in advance.

evmo
July 20th, 2012, 12:48 PM
1. Is it feasible to train for this kind of race in that amount of time?

Can you swim for 2-3 hours in open water without having to be rescued? If yes, you will probably be OK for the Little Red Lighthouse Swim. It is current assisted. Even if you are very slow, the river will get you there as long as you can keep swimming.


2. What kind of diet is optimal for this kind of training?

No special diet is necessary for training 2-3km, 4-5 times per week. A healthy, balanced diet is fine.


3. Water temps should be 65-70F for these races - is a wetsuit necessary for this kind of temp?

No. But you should practice at least a few times in the expected water temp, for the expected duration.

macorn
July 20th, 2012, 03:12 PM
Can you swim for 2-3 hours in open water without having to be rescued?

That's the thing, I've never done any open water before. I'm pretty confident I could do 2-3 hours in a pool, so I guess I'm sort of wondering how that translates to OW.

My goal was to do long distances in the pool and work up to a straight 5-6k, with some fast interval stuff mixed in.

I signed up for the 1mi to get some experience, but it's so close to the Red Lighthouse swim that I would like to make a decision sooner.

Thanks for the help.

evmo
July 20th, 2012, 05:25 PM
That's the thing, I've never done any open water before. I'm pretty confident I could do 2-3 hours in a pool, so I guess I'm sort of wondering how that translates to OW.

Pool swimming can develop conditioning and speed, but won't prepare you for the conditions (water temp, chop, physical contact w/ other swimmers, etc.) you will encounter in open water. Generally I'd say it's inadvisable to sign up for a 10K (even if it's current assisted) if you have little (or no) experience in open water. Doesn't LRLS have entry restrictions to this effect?

You live in New York - not sure if that means NYC or upstate. Why not go to Brighton Beach and swim with the CIBBOWS (http://www.cibbows.org) a few times?

macorn
July 20th, 2012, 07:09 PM
I'm in the city. The 1mi I signed up for is the CIBBOWS aquarium swim, but it was just so close to the Litte Red race that I figured if it was realistic, I would try and sign up for it earlier.

At this point, I think I'm going to try to do some short OW events when I can this summer and go for the bigger ones next summer.

Thanks again.

macorn
July 20th, 2012, 07:12 PM
Doesn't LRLS have entry restrictions to this effect?

On this, the only restriction is a 4.5km swim in under 2hrs. The nycswim.org site sort of advertises this event as a good intro to long distance OW, which is pretty much the only reason it was in the back of my head to try at all.

Clearly, there is much more to OW than I thought.

jaadams1
July 20th, 2012, 08:16 PM
Pool swimming can develop conditioning and speed, but won't prepare you for the conditions (water temp, chop, physical contact w/ other swimmers, etc.) you will encounter in open water. Generally I'd say it's inadvisable to sign up for a 10K (even if it's current assisted) if you have little (or no) experience in open water. Doesn't LRLS have entry restrictions to this effect?

You live in New York - not sure if that means NYC or upstate. Why not go to Brighton Beach and swim with the CIBBOWS (http://www.cibbows.org) a few times?


I agree with this 100%. I'm a great pool swimmer, and have swum since I was 7 on a USAS team, through college, and a little beyond that. Took 8 years off, and restarted masters. 2 1/2 years into masters swimming, I decided to sign up for my first 5K OW swim last summer. I didn't know exactly what I was getting into either...I figured I could make it easily too.
Then in the race, I bailed out after nearly completing the first lap of two. I just wasn't prepared mentally for the race.

This year I've done a 1 mile OW swim, and have two others coming: 1.76 & 1.5 miles swims. At least I know now more of what to expect and look for in this environment.

My advice...start small, and see how it is, then if you want to, increase the distances a little. It's better to be safe than to swim with the fishes forever... :(

ViveBene
July 20th, 2012, 08:53 PM
I'm in the city. The 1mi I signed up for is the CIBBOWS aquarium swim, but it was just so close to the Litte Red race that I figured if it was realistic, I would try and sign up for it earlier.

At this point, I think I'm going to try to do some short OW events when I can this summer and go for the bigger ones next summer.

Thanks again.

I would suggest getting as much OW experience as you can, even if it is little dollops. (Bigger dollops better if you decide to plan a long swim.)

Dialing in nutrition and rehydration for a long swim is important, both during and after. Sunscreen. Managing leg cramps. A very big change is the huge temperature drop from a typical pool temp to OW of 70 or below. Cold-water acclimating is a long, slow process. Right now, an hour at 70 may leave you feeling chilled to the bone. If you can swim OW once a week through to end of Sept, you'll be in much better shape next season.

OW is marvelous. The water is alive, responsive, might play with you or beat you down. A following current can surprise you! You'll probably alter your stroke, or learn how to adjust it to different conditions.

And you meet the nicest people! And have access to 10-mile lakes, and confidence to go for a swim!
:bliss:

evmo
July 21st, 2012, 12:08 AM
Clearly, there is much more to OW than I thought.

Well, don't take my word for it! Just go do it. It's not like you live in some landlocked, open-water-less place. CIBBOWS are much more than just their organized races. Go down to Brighton Beach and join them. Like tomorrow. If you can do their 5K loop (Brighton 4th to Coney Island Pier, back to white house, back to Brighton 4th), you'll be more than ready for LRLS.

geog
July 21st, 2012, 04:50 AM
Just go do it ... Like tomorrow.

exactly.

macorn
July 21st, 2012, 09:31 PM
Well, don't take my word for it! Just go do it. It's not like you live in some landlocked, open-water-less place. CIBBOWS are much more than just their organized races. Go down to Brighton Beach and join them. Like tomorrow. If you can do their 5K loop (Brighton 4th to Coney Island Pier, back to white house, back to Brighton 4th), you'll be more than ready for LRLS.

I will definitely check this out, soon.

Thanks again for all the advice.

mcnair
July 21st, 2012, 10:08 PM
Just to echo some of the things already said on this thread... I did a lot of lake swimming in a non-competitive status over the years (BSA mile swims; workouts at local inland lakes; even a couple of mile-swims in Lake Michigan) before I signed up for my first open water race, 2.4 miles. I was very comfortable in OW and still found that first OW race intimidating. I wouldn't sign up for anything over that if it's going to be among your first OW experiences. I plan on working my way up to 10K, 10 miles and beyond now that I've done 5K, but as James says, start small.

As far as diet, you don't need to put in "more" calories (though I wouldn't run a "deficit" on hard workout days, or before/after long swims). More important than quantity is quality... get your vitamins, complex carbs, proteins, but avoid the simple carbs and fats. I've just gained ten pounds in the last 4 months, all muscle I can assure you :afraid: yeah, right... I should follow my own advice! Swimming is not a license to eat whatever!

aqueoushumor
July 22nd, 2012, 04:27 PM
Every time you get into open water, you will learn something. Things about water; temperatures; yourself; wildlife; your emotions; real and perceived things in the water with you; currents; conditions; your ability to handle panic, boredom, changes in mood; drunk boaters...Like others have said, you will have plenty of time to train for and do a 10?K. Right now start with shorter distances and enjoy the adventure!

Couple things that work for me...Nutrition-garbonzos, V-8 Juice, power cookies, Campbells chicken noodle soup, listen to your body-it will direct you to proper fueling. Wetsuits-very "heated" topic, but for my body temperatures under 70 at times over 1hr necessitate a wetsuit. Other than that, sans. Which I much prefer!

Good luck. And most importantly be safe and have fun.

rxleakem
July 22nd, 2012, 07:40 PM
My first open water event was the Peaks to Portland in 2010, a 2.4 mile ocean swim in Maine. I was not sure I could even finish the race and really didn't worry about anything other than surviving. :drown: Well, I pulled through fine, even though after the race I was surprised that I could cover that long stretch across the bay. In 2011 I ramped up my pool swimming and added more dips in local lakes/rivers, nothing more than a 1.5 miles at a time. I also did Peaks again, and added a 10k lake swim. This year I finished the 10mile Kingdom Swim, and just got out of the bay this weekend from Peaks.

Every body is different and everybody is different. You should try to get out into OW more to help get prepared for the mental silliness that will follow as you paddle around that expanse of water. Play with nutrition, as after the first 5k your body will start shifting metabolism and you will need to rely on the fuel you are taking on. During the 10k I "hit the wall" during the last km because my feedings were not enough, so I did research on the intertubes and changed my approach for the 10mile swim and had no issues. YMMV.

Like evmo mentioned, I would think that based on your training you should have the stamina to finish a 10k, but you need to get out and swim for an hour or two (with a buddy or group) to see what non-stamina issues pop up. I love tackling the variables in OW and getting out to see nature in ways you can't from the car or even a boat. For me, I plan to keep building up distances every year, finding new swims and meeting new folks that love taking on these crazy adventures like I do. I am prepared that there will come a distance or temperature that will cause me to say "enough," just have to wait for that time to come. Start your trek now and have fun on the journey - soon you'll look back to that first swim that once was full of nervousness and see that it was a steppingstone in a line of great experiences.
:cheerleader:

E=H2O
July 24th, 2012, 08:36 PM
Pool swimming can develop conditioning and speed, but won't prepare you for the conditions (water temp, chop, physical contact w/ other swimmers, etc.) you will encounter in open water. Generally I'd say it's inadvisable to sign up for a 10K (even if it's current assisted) if you have little (or no) experience in open water.

The man has spoken. You would do well to follow his advice.