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Thread: Open Water Workouts for the Pool...

  1. #1
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    Open Water Workouts for the Pool...

    Does anyone have any good open water training sets / workouts that they do in the pool?
    Dean O.

    Visit www.dynoswim.com for a database of hundreds of downloadable workouts, you can add your own too.

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    I'm gearing up for a 2.4 mile swim in about 10 days. My first ever opwn water swim.

    The distance is not a problem. I do that (and more) 6 days a week.

    For me, I am doing longer and longer swims. Once upon a time my workouts were predominantly 200s and 300s. Maybe a 500 warm up... And then some 100s and 50s.

    But now I'm doing 1000s and 2000s. Yesterday I did 8 500s with 15 seconds rest in between, plus warm down. A few days ago I did a 4300 (a little more that 2.4 miles nonstop) just to prove to myself that I can do it without stopping. Did it in under my target time for the open water swim.

    One other thing I am doing is practicing my sighting technique. I think that will be my biggest challenge. No lane lines or line on the bottom of the lake to follow! So before I do my workout each day I decide on some item on the wall at each end of my lane. When I do a "sighting stroke", I make sure I locate it each time.

    I have also discovered that I don't sight very well when I try to do it on the stroke when I breathe. Intuitively I thought that since my face was going to be out of the water anyway, why not look forward a bit every so often when I breathe to see where I am going... But I actually have less break in my stroke when I sight on a stroke that I am not breathing on. Just raise my head a little so my eyes break the surface of the water... Not much different from my water polo days as a kid.

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    Here is a follow-up training question I've been pondering -- since I do the open water distance as my daily routine, should I bother with any sort of taper heading into the day of the event? I have been planning not to, and I was just going to consider the swim that day to be the workout I would have otherwise done that day, but just in a different "pool".

  4. #4
    Very Active Member Leonard Jansen's Avatar
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    My $0.02 -

    Guv - If you are training through the race for something else, then, yes, use it like a workout and don't taper. Otherwise, I'd suggest at least a few days easier - it's nice to have a bit of extra glycogen in the muscles towards the end of the race. WRT sighting, don't get too focused on it. You WILL zig and zag a bit no matter what, but sighting too often is lots slower. Try to discipline yourself to only sight every X strokes (X >= 7) unless you are in a situation (e.g. near a turn) that demands more accuracy.

    1999 - Examples of two workouts I "like":
    For shorter races, throw in one or more sets of something like this:
    Do as one continuous 1000 yard swim:
    4 laps at race pace (+/-), and then 1 lap harder/faster,
    3 laps at race pace, then 2 laps harder/faster
    2 laps at race pace, then 3 laps harder/faster
    1 lap at race pace, then 4 laps hard/faster.

    For any race, but esp. longer ones:
    Go continuously for a fixed total length of time at a strong pace, but every X minutes, go harder for a certain distance.
    Example: Last weekend, I did 2+ hours of good pace and on every 10 minute mark, I'd do a harder 200, going right back to pace after. In this case it was like throwing 12 200's in the middle of a longer swim. It breaks up the boredom of a long swim as well.

    -LBJ

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    Originally posted by Leonard Jansen

    WRT sighting, don't get too focused on it. You WILL zig and zag a bit no matter what, but sighting too often is lots slower. Try to discipline yourself to only sight every X strokes (X >= 7) unless you are in a situation (e.g. near a turn) that demands more accuracy.

    My plan is to get into a pack of swimmers with similar ability to mine. Looking at past race results, there will likely be a half dozen or more in that category. I just hope some of them can see better than I can (I have lousy eyesight without my glasses), and I'll just follow along. Or at least, maybe the whole pack will collectively keep each other on course. I was planning on checking at each 10-15 strokes, or when I stop feeling comfortable with my direction. (Maybe in the blindness of the depths that discomfort will hit after 5! This factor is the great unknown for me. It fills me with dread and anticipation combined, like going to my first high school dance.)

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    Very Active Member Leonard Jansen's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Guvnah
    My plan is to get into a pack of swimmers with similar ability to mine. Looking at past race results, there will likely be a half dozen or more in that category. I just hope some of them can see better than I can (I have lousy eyesight without my glasses), and I'll just follow along. Or at least, maybe the whole pack will collectively keep each other on course. I was planning on checking at each 10-15 strokes, or when I stop feeling comfortable with my direction. (Maybe in the blindness of the depths that discomfort will hit after 5! This factor is the great unknown for me. It fills me with dread and anticipation combined, like going to my first high school dance.)
    The problem with trying to predict beforehand who you will "pack up" with during a race is that everyone people are spread all over the starting area and everyone has a different approach to fast/slow start - It's not like pool races where people end to focus on hitting split times.

    Optical googles are nice to have. I have really lousy eyesight and they work well. (I use Water Gear optical goggles - love 'em).

    First high school dance... I went to an all-boys school attached to a monastery. I understand. But, I am willing to bet that if you try to ignore the murky depths, you'll find that in very short order you won't even be thinking about it. Good luck.

    "You get in that race, you go like Hell."
    -Francesco Alongi

    -LBJ

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    Originally posted by Leonard Jansen
    The problem with trying to predict beforehand who you will "pack up" with during a race is that everyone people are spread all over the starting area and everyone has a different approach to fast/slow start - It's not like pool races where people end to focus on hitting split times.
    I was planning to let the physical reality of who-is-where after a couple of hundred yards dictate that for me.

    Reading elsewhere on this open water board, someone suggested selecting a starting location at the outer fringe of the mass of swimmers standing on the shore. Not in the front in the middle. Makes sense to me! The course is a single out-and-back to a buoy 1.2 miles out. I figure that if I start on the outside, it means that I swim the hypotenuse, but given that I might be only 10 or even 20 yards to the outside, my hypotenuse is for all practical purposes the same as the inside track over 1.2 miles.

    The shore of the lake is one boundary, and a string of boats spaced along the course will dictate the other boundary of the swim. I figure that until the swimmers thin into their relative positionings base on capability, I will have to fend for myself for sighting. But it sure would be nice to find others in my pace eventually.

    Optical googles are nice to have. I have really lousy eyesight and they work well. (I use Water Gear optical goggles - love 'em).
    I use stock optical goggles from Keifer. 9.0 diopters. (Their max strength.) 9.0 is about right for me as the diopter measurement goes, but it does nothing for my astigmatism. I would say that this setup gets me roughly half of my corrected eyesight, which is a far better thing than nothing at all.


    "You get in that race, you go like Hell."
    -Francesco Alongi
    That's my plan. I'm pretty sure I'll do well if I go like hell in the right direction.

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