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SuperChloe
February 21st, 2013, 07:40 PM
I've been swimming competitively in the pool for something like 15 years now, but I am interested in trying an open water race, either in a lake or in the ocean this summer. I have absolutely zero experience in open water other than just playing around at the beach. I've looked around this website but I would like some more info. Does anyone have any good books/websites/resources for someone who wants to try open water swimming for the first time? I'll take any and all tips!

aqueoushumor
February 22nd, 2013, 12:51 PM
I've been swimming competitively in the pool for something like 15 years now, but I am interested in trying an open water race, either in a lake or in the ocean this summer. I have absolutely zero experience in open water other than just playing around at the beach. I've looked around this website but I would like some more info. Does anyone have any good books/websites/resources for someone who wants to try open water swimming for the first time? I'll take any and all tips!

Open Water Swimming by Penny Lee Dean
Dover Solo by Marcia Cleveland
Swimming to Antarctica by Lynn Cox

for starters. There are lots of websites. Info from Masters. Your local Masters group...Good luck. You are going to have a blast.

gregoc
February 22nd, 2013, 02:10 PM
Join an open-water swim group. Contact Maine Masters and ask if there are any informal groups that go for ocean or lake swims.
Search for info on the forum MarathonSwimmers.org. There are seveal great OW swims in Maine. Try one out (Sebago Challenge, Peaks to Protland, Rockland Breakwater, Nubble Light Challenge). Sebago is a 1/2.5/5K lake swim, that would be a good start.

mollyfied
February 23rd, 2013, 02:30 PM
This is a fantastic resource for open water swimming advice and event news: http://www.marathonswimmers.org/forum/

ViveBene
February 23rd, 2013, 07:25 PM
I've been swimming competitively in the pool for something like 15 years now, but I am interested in trying an open water race, either in a lake or in the ocean this summer. I have absolutely zero experience in open water other than just playing around at the beach. I've looked around this website but I would like some more info. Does anyone have any good books/websites/resources for someone who wants to try open water swimming for the first time? I'll take any and all tips!

At the beach, you can swim parallel to the shore for increasing amounts of time.
It's good to have a group to swim OW with regularly - once a week or so.

jbs
February 24th, 2013, 09:59 AM
Join an open-water swim group. Contact Maine Masters and ask if there are any informal groups that go for ocean or lake swims.
Search for info on the forum MarathonSwimmers.org. There are seveal great OW swims in Maine. Try one out (Sebago Challenge, Peaks to Protland, Rockland Breakwater, Nubble Light Challenge). Sebago is a 1/2.5/5K lake swim, that would be a good start.

There are a few regular open water practice swims in the summer relatively close to Lewiston. Several groups use Crystal Lake once the water temp rises enough to swim (usually sometime in June, though last year it was May). There are also swims in a lake around Bath. And a few of us swim regularly at Pine Point in Scarborough, though that may be further than you want to drive. PM me if you are interested in more details about any of these.

As for races, gregoc has listed the big ones in Maine. All except for Sebago are ocean swims, which means learning to deal with the water temperature (most people wear wetsuits). Peaks is usually the warmest (low 60s) and Nubble the coldest (I think it was 55 in the middle of the race). Sebago is right at pool temperature (right around 80) and is generally sheltered, though there was a little chop in the first year. I'd agree that it would be a really good first race.

SuperChloe
February 24th, 2013, 12:10 PM
Thanks for the info and tips, everyone! jbs, I sent you a PM.

ViveBene
February 24th, 2013, 12:47 PM
Sebago - Whenever I drive by that lake I think, this should be swum. And the Challenge is not yet overrun with entrants. It's on my to-do list, and thanks for the info!
:)

Here is a list of OW swims (Midwest, extending to Northeast) for 2012. Most repeat on the same weekend from year to year.
http://www.freshwaterswimmer.com/midwest-ows-calendar/

Marlise
March 2nd, 2013, 12:14 AM
Check out any local triathloners too to join

Bill Sive
July 9th, 2013, 04:09 PM
Anyone swim the 1 Mile in Carona Del Mar, Calif.?

Will be my first Open Water Swim ever.

I can swim 2-3 miles in a pool with no problem. I've just have never swum in Open Water. Mostly concernced about getting used to the water termp. I am hoping for high 60's low 70's.

Will wear swimsuit (brief) only. No wetsuit.

Any guidance will be appreciated.

Thank you,

Fresnoid
July 9th, 2013, 10:46 PM
Anyone swim the 1 Mile in Carona Del Mar, Calif.?

Will be my first Open Water Swim ever.

I can swim 2-3 miles in a pool with no problem. I've just have never swum in Open Water. Mostly concernced about getting used to the water termp. I am hoping for high 60's low 70's.

Will wear swimsuit (brief) only. No wetsuit.

Any guidance will be appreciated.

Thank you,

I'm a purely pool swimmer who has been forced to do some open water events by my "friends". I have one piece of advice:

Get your ass out into the ocean and practice some open water swimming. Sighting is not that big a deal, but just the basic stroke for open water swimming can be very different and you need to practice. Hitting the beach a few times will also get you accustomed to the water temperature. That doesn't mean you will like it, but at least make it so you know what to expect race day.

Aren't you near Long Beach? Some of your pool teammates are probably hitting the waves every weekend.

Bill Sive
July 10th, 2013, 08:34 AM
Thanks Fresnoid,

Yes, I plan on doing some open water swimming workouts between now and the actual swim. I am hoping to buddy up with the open water swimmers from Seal Beach (Sea Monkeys), Cal State Long Beach Masters, or the Newport Beach Lifeguard Swim Club.

Fortunately for me I work in Costa Mesa, CA, so I could drive down to Carona del Mar after work (about 15 minutes) and do some actual swims down at the beach.

I am going to have to change up my double dip and/or triple dip weekends (I do two or three pool workouts in one day) to include some ocean time. I have been told the ocean has been pretty warm this year. Lucky me.

My Long Beach swim colleagues are all focused on Mission Viejo and IGLA, so no help from them. :-(

JWAJack
July 10th, 2013, 03:39 PM
The Don Burns CDM swim is a fun swim, and pretty easy to navigate. The water temps have been warmer this year (just did a series of 4 swims in Huntington Beach this a.m.), and I think CDM tends to be on the warm-ish side by August. As Fresnoid notes, the best open water swimmers tend to have a higher stroke rate to avoid getting battered by chop and wind. And while sighting isn't such a big deal at the CDM swim, the Newport Pier to Pier swim (as well as several other area swims like the Seal Beach Rough Water, Dwight Crum Pier to Pier in the South Bay, Gatorman-La Jolla Rough Water) does require some good sighting skills to make the shortest distance from point A to point B. In any event, have fun -- the open water swims out here have a good vibe and it's nice to enjoy our ocean this way.

Bill Sive
July 11th, 2013, 08:45 AM
I will try the waters this Friday afternoon. I had already scheduled to leave work early on Friday, so I will just change my plans and drive to Carona del Mar and swim a mile or so. At the very least begin getting acclimated to the water temp.

The water in the pool where I swam yesterday was cooler than it usually is so good for me on getting cooler temps. Personally not a big fan of jumping right into the pool, I usually ease my way in. Will have to change my water entry and deal with it.

Bill Sive
August 4th, 2013, 09:05 PM
What types of goggles do you OW folks prefer. I am not referring to which brand. Do you prefer lenses that are clear, smoked, polarized, blue, polarized red, plain old polarized, polarized amber etc. I got back in the ocean again today (Corona del Mar) and used polarized amber goggles. I thought they were great. I could see quite good below the water line.

It was actually hilarious, orange swim brief, orange goggles, orange swim cap. I working on it here. It took me about 10 minutes to acclimate to the water temp. The water was 68F. I am getting a little more comfortable being in the ocean and swimming.

srcoyote
August 7th, 2013, 08:51 AM
Middle of day, outside, I prefer smoked or mirrored. But if I'm swimming in an event in which I need to sight the buoys, I've found blue is the only color in which I can adequately sight them. Still have issues if I have to look into the sun, but red and amber wash the buoys out of sight, and the smoked makes it difficult for me to see in the early morning light that is typical.

Bill Sive
August 19th, 2013, 09:02 AM
What no one told me about Open Water Swimming.

1) swimming in a bay is not the same as swimming in the ocean;
2) swimming directly into the ocean towards deep sea, is not the same as swimming along the shore behind the waves;
3) swimming in the ocean varies considerably from beach to beach;
4) you will feel more comfortable swimming in a group, rather than swimming by yourself;
5) ocean swimming is a different kind of swimming that requires an approach all its own, mind, body, technique;
6) my appreciation/respect for Diana Nyad, and others like her (ocean/distance swimming) has gone through the roof;

What happened this weekend that enlightened me? I joined a group of 30 swimmers and who did the following:

A) swam around the Balboa Pier;
B) swam around the Newport Beach Pier;
C) swam around the Huntington Beach Pier:
D) swam around the Seal Beach Pier;

All in one morning. The bus left at 8:00 am, we were done by 12:00 noon. I only swam around the fist two piers as thats were my comfort level was at. Will I repeat this event next year. YES!!!

This group of swimmers was the most supportive of any group of swimmers I have ever encountered in my four years of swimming.

This group of swimmers included: pool swimmers, open water swimmers, three lifeguards, two olympians (water polo); two father/son, three swimmers from the #2 swim team in the PAC 12, a few US Masters Swimmers (3 clubs representated), and an assortment of others made up the rest. Some of these swimmers have swum from Catalina Island to San Pedro/Long Beach. This is/was a very accomplished group of swimmers. I was very fortunate to be asked to join them. I am very glad I took them up on their offer.

Was this an official swim? No, it was not sanctioned, or recognized. This was all for fun, and what a fun time it was!

Have I been converted to Open Water swimming? No. I will continue to swim in pools and compete at USMS pool events. I will, however, while the water is still warm, I will add open water swimming to my workouts on a regular basis. I will swim in bays, and in the ocean.

The next time I show up at a swimming event with my arm floaties this group of swimmers will say "right on!", while that other group of swimmers will say "OMG that is not how swimmers are suppose to behave. Don't dress like that.". I say relax, you are taking swimming way too seriously, and I've already defeated you mentally.

What did this group of swimmers chant at the end of the day?

"Four More Piers"
"Four More Piers"
"Four More Piers"
"Four More Piers"

Thank you folks for allowing me to join you on this aquatic adventure.

TamTam140.6
September 4th, 2013, 12:58 PM
Middle of day, outside, I prefer smoked or mirrored. But if I'm swimming in an event in which I need to sight the buoys, I've found blue is the only color in which I can adequately sight them. Still have issues if I have to look into the sun, but red and amber wash the buoys out of sight, and the smoked makes it difficult for me to see in the early morning light that is typical.

I like an amber lens. It almost mimicks polarized (but cheaper) and they are generally not too dark, so there is no problem sighting buoys. BUT for in-pool training, a clear lens is all I need. You can get a Swedish set that comes with a couple lens types to give you an idea of what you'd like.
http://www.aquagear.com/speedo-swedish-goggle-2pack/