View Full Version : What is the best way to train in a pool for an open water?

September 10th, 2014, 03:30 AM
Good morning everybody. In the website http://www.body360nutritionals.com/Body-Crunch-All-Natural-Whey-Protein-Crunchies-p/bodycrunch.htm I found some information about Whey protein and casein protein. Can someone please tell me which one is good for a swimmer?

September 10th, 2014, 09:57 AM
Maybe take out the lane lines and get some kids to toss some cannonballs in from the side to simulate waves? :)

Rob Copeland
September 10th, 2014, 10:16 AM
For a mile open water swim, I suggest training as you would train for a pool mile. Also incorporate sighting into your drill sets. Many people recommend alligator sighting (periodically raise your head a little so your eyes are looking in front of you; try to keep nose and mouth underwater). I prefer shark sighting (after a breath, rotate your head forward to sight then lower your head as your arm finishes its recovery).

September 10th, 2014, 11:09 AM
I would swim sets of longer distances of 2-3 times the distance you are going to swim. I think picking your head up higher to see the markers on the water would keep you from sucking in too much water. If it is dead calm ,a lower head position is best, but open water will have waves

September 10th, 2014, 11:49 AM
What about sets where you "turn" a few strokes before the wall (no walls)?

September 10th, 2014, 01:29 PM
Here's what I'd do. No guarantees on it being "best".

10 x 100 on whatever pace gives you about 5 seconds of rest. If you start getting more than 10 seconds rest on your last few intervals, drop the interval by 5 seconds. Learn to pace. You will be faster with a consistent sustainable effort rather than going out too fast at first and suffering at the end (or going out too slow at first and having a lot of energy at the end). Pools with pace clocks are great for doing this. Try to get all your 100s to be within a couple seconds of each other. Take a break and then do another set of 10 x 100... or do some kicks. 10 x 100 gets boring kind of fast.

Get in a timed 800 once or twice a week. Take an open turn at each 200 to get your splits. Or even better have someone get them for you. Make sure your pace is keeping steady throughout the 800.

Sight an object at each end of your lane at least once per length. You don't want to learn how to sight on the day of the race.

September 10th, 2014, 08:51 PM
Great suggestions so far. And you know, the one about the cannonballs isn't far off. See when a kids' team is practicing and hug the lane line in the lane closest to them if you can. They can still create a lot of churn even with the lines.

Another good set to do would be to do an 800 by doing a very fast (90%) 100, then settle into a good pace for 500, then start to pick up the pace at the 600 point (85-905), then sprint the last 100 with all you have left. It'll simulate the start and end, then a solid pace in the middle.

September 10th, 2014, 09:11 PM
the one about the cannonballs isn't far off. and disturb a hornets nest somewhere on deck, get stung a few times then jump in:)

September 10th, 2014, 09:30 PM
I've participated in three open water swims in the last year or so and I trained for all of them in a 25m pool for the most part (I went to a 50m pool a couple of times). My guess is that you're not good at sighting yet. You should be able to find some videos on YouTube. Actually, I've embedded a good video below. If I'm right about your sighting, you might want to find out about the course and think about strategy. For example, when I swam the swimming portion as part of relay team in a full distance triathlon, I talked to people who entered the same race the previous year. I found out that I could follow a wall of the man-made lake if I went to the far right on the way out, and then the wall on the opposite side on the way back. I breathe to the right so I couldn't follow the rope that is to the left of swimmers (in the middle of the course). Starting on the far right at the beginning turned out to be a great help in that I avoided the fight at the beginning of the race. Once you get started and figure out your sighting, your swim shouldn't be all that different from what you experience in the pool. Just find your rhythm and go! Good luck.


Bill Sive
September 12th, 2014, 09:05 AM
You are more than welcome to come over to the MLK Jr pool in Long Beach, CA. It has no lane lines and no gutters. I highly recommed this pool for training for open water swimming. Plus its open year round. Indoor, showers lockers etc.

September 12th, 2014, 11:50 AM
That sounds great as we in chicagoland wake up this morning in Sept. 12 to 40 degree temps and clouds with rain!!!! UUUGGG !!

September 12th, 2014, 12:26 PM
I did my first o/w event--2.4 miles--with absolutely no o/w training experience. I think I had been swimming with masters groups for 3-4 years, maybe 5x a week, average distance 3-4000 yards.

No, I certainly didn't win the race, and that definitely wasn't my intention. But I did place decently for me.

I truthfully think that if you're swimming regularly, and you just want to finish, you'll be fine.

Actually I asked the organizer of the local SCAR swim a while back (when I thought I might be able to do a leg) what the best way was to train for it. His answer, "keep coming to team workouts."

September 12th, 2014, 01:05 PM
I only just got into open water swimming this year, so I don't have a ton of experience to draw on--but I do vividly remember what the biggest adjustments were for me since they weren't so long ago.

The swimming is a hair different with chop and all, but nothing my swimmer's instincts couldn't handle. The really big difference, for me, was adjusting to very different visual cues. In the pool, you're following a black line on the bottom, which you see through very clear water. In the open water, visibility underwater is often quite limited and you've got to catch glimpses of your path when your eyes are out of the water. So I followed the sighting advice in the video that's already been posted here, and I also practiced swimming with my eyes closed. The drill I saw suggested was to do entire lengths eyes shut, and I did some of those, but what I think was most helpful was to combine that with a sighting drill: whenever my head was submerged, I closed my eyes. I opened them for every breath, and I practiced sighting every other breath. Then, as I got more comfortable with sighting and keeping myself on a straight path using only the visual cues that I got from sighting, I pulled back to do it every third breath, or every fourth--still with my eyes closed whenever my face was submerged.

September 13th, 2014, 12:07 AM
Thanks a lot for your valuable suggestion......

September 13th, 2014, 06:20 AM
I am currently switching from pool comps to OW comps due to feet and shoulder injuries. The longer distances OW are better for swimming at 80% effort I find.

This season I have done a 2 mile, a 7 mile and on Sunday next a 1 mile event.

Training in a 25m pool has been done on my own as club members are still sprinty things :) I do sets of 6 x 800m, alternating easy (perfect stroke)/warm ups with race pace.

This is great for me for so many reasons.

Most OW events don't allow a warm up so the first 800m strategy is rehearsed over and over again - I find i need 200m for my aging bones to get oiled these days so a deliberate slower pace is needed at the start. Then the practice at speeding up without damaging later performance is crucial to putting in a good time.

Race pace for 800m really does allow you to listen to your body, slow down or speed up depending on how you feel. BUT using those feelings to see by the end of the 800m did you go out hard enough or too hard. IMO these are crucial 'feelings' to memorize for the event itself.

6 x 800 or perhaps 10 x 400 for shorter events (for your half mile) allows you still improve fitness/stamina whilst practicing for OW distance pacing.

I know sighting is often an issue for newbies to practice, but is a distraction in valuable pool time. 10/12 very efficient consecutive strokes is by far the more important part of OW swimming training, than is the sighting part. This is because more often than not you are following other swimmers (no sighting required) or banks of lakes/rivers give a good guide without special attention. However if you are in the lead or out in the middle of a lake/sea/ocean then things are very different - get to practice in OW if you can!

good luck