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Thread: what do I need for OW?

  1. #1
    Very Active Member mlabresh's Avatar
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    what do I need for OW?

    So I'm going to be doing the swim leg of a relay tri this September. I'm hoping to also do an OW swim event that is about 1 month before said tri. This will be the third year for the August event, so I think I can look at the past two years and find out what the weather/water temps were like. The triathlon has been going on many years - I'm hoping there will be info on the website about conditions.

    I know I need to get some good OW goggles. I swim mostly indoor right now (aside from my 7 weeks of Masters swimming in summer in a LCM outdoor pool). So I have a pair of clear goggles that I use almost exclusively and a pair of blue tinted goggles that I use occasionally. I'm very lucky to have the lovely OW goggle review in our latest issue of Swimmer.

    What about suits? Should I find out about conditions before deciding what to get? Should I go ahead and get a wetsuit so that I also have it for training? If there are no wetsuits, should I just go with my usual racing suit? I'm very new to this and would love any tips or advice. Thanks!
    ~Megan

  2. #2
    Moderator Rob Copeland's Avatar
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    Re: what do I need for OW?

    I use the same suit and goggles in open water that I use in the pool. Use the same suit you race in in the pool to race in open water; unless it is a wet-suit legal race, then you might consider one.

    The most important thing you need is open water training, not open water gear. Work on open water acclimation, sighting, navigation, pacing, endurance and race tactics. You can pick up a lot of these from other posts on the forum or I recommend Open Water Swimming, by Steve Munatones (available at most on-line book stores)

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    Farewell Lily smontanaro's Avatar
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    Re: what do I need for OW?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Copeland View Post
    I use the same suit and goggles in open water that I use in the pool.
    The one exception I can think of to this dictum (and who am I to contradict Rob?) is that if you are used to swimming indoors with clear or very lightly tinted goggles, you might want to consider dark and/or mirrored goggles for outdoors.

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    Very Active Member mlabresh's Avatar
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    Re: what do I need for OW?

    Thanks! I did have another thread where I got some advice on training for OW. Thanks for the book recommendation, I will check that out! I do usually swim with clear goggles. So, I'm thinking I'll want some tinted/mirrored. I'm hoping to wear a wetsuit. I'm not sure it will matter for me if they are legal, I think the only difference that makes is in regards to awards - but we'll see. I talked with a friend at the pool today who did this same race. He recommended wearing a wetsuit, if possible.

    I'm really hoping to be able to find a training group of some sort to swim with. I know the biggest thing will be to get out in the water and see what I'm up against!
    ~Megan

  5. #5
    raced the 200 fly couldbebetterfly's Avatar
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    Re: what do I need for OW?

    I have done a couple of ow events in a lake, which is more like a large pond really. Just wore my previous year's race suit and in fact I wore clear goggles IIRC. The water temp was 75 ish both years, and so most others, being triathletes wore wetsuits, but you didn't need one. I warmed up in the lake on race day, but had never swum open water before that first time. The only practice I had was swimming eyes closed down a 25 yd length and sighting my water-bottle on the pool deck. Once I got going I was fine though, and I think it helped that the first year the water was virtually flat!
    30something and way too young for my times

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    Moderator Rob Copeland's Avatar
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    Re: what do I need for OW?

    Quote Originally Posted by smontanaro View Post
    The one exception I can think of to this dictum (and who am I to contradict Rob?) is that if you are used to swimming indoors with clear or very lightly tinted goggles, you might want to consider dark and/or mirrored goggles for outdoors.
    I usually bring 2 or 3 different pairs of goggles for open water swimming and I'll choose based on conditions. I generally go with clear goggles, but if the swim is cloudless into the morning or evening sun, Iíll go with mirrored goggles. Mid-day swims (sun high in the sky) and cloudy day swims Iíll go back to clear.

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