Goals, Periodization, Lessons Learned
During the summer, the Ocean City Swim Club has Sunday morning workouts at the beach in Longport, NJ so I drove over this morning to see if I could get some pointers on open water swimming. They had three buoys set up in a triangular 350 yard course, with lifeguards on hand for safety, to help novices, and one in case anyone "wanted a workout".
Most people just got in the water and started swimming, but I wandered over to the people waiting for the lifeguards. It sounded like the novice group was for people that were nervous about the waves or about swimming in the ocean, so I went over to see about the workout and found that it was just me and the lifeguard, Erin. This turned out to be absolutely perfect for me because after she had me do a lap of warmup and another lap swimming at different stroke rates to see what effect that had in different currents, she asked what I wanted to learn and the "workout" turned into a 45 minute private lesson .
We first swam a couple of laps working on sighting, which was much more difficult than I expected because of the swell. At first I frequently had to resort to breaststroke, but eventually I began to get a feel of looking when I was on the crest of a swell instead of the in the trough and did much better by the end.
She also talked about drafting, which I thought I knew about about from lap swimming, but I was surprised when she said that the most effective position was right on the person's hip. This made sense once she explained it, but it isn't something I would have thought of myself. I was also surprised at first when she said that drafting someone can give you a psychological advantage as well as a physical advantage over them. I had to laugh when she said "people might not like you for doing it, but so what - it is an effective strategy".
She had to leave early to get to work, so I swam a few more laps on my own after she left. All told I think I did 8 laps, so I went about 2800 yards.
I am so happy I got up to do this today, it was exactly what I needed!
Updated July 22nd, 2012 at 11:16 PM by eric.carlson