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2013-09-11 3:44 PM
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Subject: RE: New Triathletes and Open Water Swimming
Originally posted by MOlsen

It felt to me like a lot of the tips were a bit elitist.  


I am an adult onset swimmer. I completely agree with the 2000yd workout suggestion before OWS unless you're going to be in water you can stand up in. Of course plenty of newcomers will be just fine, but if it's not like a 2000yd workout is some Herculean effort. It just takes some work. I say this having started out unable to string together a pair of 50s.

There is nothing elitist about a suggestion intended to keep "newcomers" as safe as possible in an OWS.



Edited by Goosedog 2013-09-11 3:54 PM


2013-09-11 4:09 PM
in reply to: MOlsen

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Subject: RE: New Triathletes and Open Water Swimming
I put together these tips/standards for open water swimming when I started to see a lot of new people that were interested in doing their first triathlon or open water swim with no swimming backgrounds. The swim leg of a triathlon is the most dangerous part of the race.

In addition to coaching a masters team made up of triathletes, I am also a race director for an open water swim series in the Houston area and I work with the largest triathlon event company to help put on the swim leg of their races. I see way too many triathletes attempt to swim open water that are seriously under trained and inexperienced for the swim leg. This fact makes it unsafe for everyone else swimming. The safety assets (kayakers, boats, jet skis, lifeguards, etc) in an open water swim are not there to follow around 1 swimmer that hasn't trained properly. From the race director view point and from the view point of a coach that is interested in the well being of my athletes, these tips aren't elitist they are all about safety.
2013-09-11 4:28 PM
in reply to: snappingt

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Subject: RE: New Triathletes and Open Water Swimming

I absolutely respect the notion of safety.

To me there is a big leap from "no swimming background" and being able to crank out 2000 yards and 10k a week, that is where my "elitist" opinion is coming from.

2013-09-11 4:33 PM
in reply to: MOlsen

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Subject: RE: New Triathletes and Open Water Swimming
Originally posted by MOlsen

To me there is a big leap from "no swimming background" and being able to crank out 2000 yards and 10k a week, that is where my "elitist" opinion is coming from.


What do you think, 4-6 months with dedicated effort? Less, more?

Regardless, the suggestion is not "elitist." You might think it's overly-cautious, but elitist gets thrown around here too often.

2013-09-11 4:36 PM
in reply to: MOlsen

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Subject: RE: New Triathletes and Open Water Swimming
Respectfully, we disagree. Even the beginning fitness swimmers that I coach with no swim backgrounds may start out at 1,000 yards for the first week or two of practices, but within a month are going 2000+ yards in a practice and the ones that have more natural ability are going 3,000-4,000 yards in a practice within a couple of months. Basically, any swimmer that has been on the team for a couple months is regularly swimming, at minimum, 10-12k a week. Swimming with a group/coach makes a huge difference in swimming development.
2013-09-11 4:42 PM
in reply to: Goosedog

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Subject: RE: New Triathletes and Open Water Swimming
4-6 months is a good rule of thumb. Honestly, it can vary widely from person to person. I had one athlete come to me with no swimming background that literally looked like a drowning victim when he was swimming and with 6 months of really hard work he went 1:13 at his first Ironman. Then I've had people that struggle with swimming. Most of the time the struggle is finding the time to get to the practices. But that is the struggle we all deal with lives, families and jobs. However, on average, 4-6 months of hard work in the pool is a reasonable expectation.


2013-09-11 4:47 PM
in reply to: Goosedog

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Subject: RE: New Triathletes and Open Water Swimming

Originally posted by Goosedog

You might think it's overly-cautious, but elitist gets thrown around here too often.

Fair point, overly-cautious is a better way of saying it.

2013-09-11 8:19 PM
in reply to: MOlsen

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Subject: RE: New Triathletes and Open Water Swimming
Originally posted by MOlsen

Originally posted by The Chupacabra

I liked the one about 2000 yds or 10000 yds a week being long/impossible. I'm breaking through that hurdle now.

If I had followed that tip (and a bunch of the other ones as well) I never would have started weekly open water swims.  It felt to me like a lot of the tips were a bit elitist.  The sprint triathlons I've done have ranged from 400-800 yard OWS, expecting a newcomer to be able to handle a 2000 yard swim before attempting an OWS seems extreme.

While I agree that most of my gains come from pool swimming, I see the results of the pool swimming while open water swimming.




Agreed. We shouldn't expect newbies to swim 10000 a week. My personal reasons for seeking that and above are to improve a weakness.

I will say though that as a newbie swimmer, I tried for 2000 a workout in the pool every workout, 3x a week. It took me forever because I was so slow (over an hour). I feel that if I hadn't put that work in early, I would not be where I am today.

Just sayin....I'm no expert. I just know what worked/is working for me....
2013-09-11 8:20 PM
in reply to: snappingt

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Subject: RE: New Triathletes and Open Water Swimming
Originally posted by snappingt

I'm putting together a video on how "sighting" has very little to do with navigation in open water swimming. I should have it done in the next couple of days and posted with some drills you can do in the pool that will help.


Interesting...looking forward to seeing it.
2013-09-11 8:23 PM
in reply to: MOlsen

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Subject: RE: New Triathletes and Open Water Swimming
Originally posted by MOlsen

Originally posted by Goosedog

You might think it's overly-cautious, but elitist gets thrown around here too often.

Fair point, overly-cautious is a better way of saying it.

Don't concede to Goosedog..... he's elitist through and through.  Believe it.

2013-09-11 8:29 PM
in reply to: 0

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Subject: RE: New Triathletes and Open Water Swimming
Originally posted by Clempson

Originally posted by snappingt Swimming in the ocean is a very specific skill set, especially if you are talking about learning to swim through waves at the start of the race. Once you get past the beach break it's fairly easy. And again, if you've develop a lot of strength, conditioning and efficiency from the pool it becomes a lot easier to deal with ocean swimming conditions. I'm not hiding the fact that I am a swim coach. Part of the reason that I am posting the article here is that I hope it would be helpful and to let as many people know that after 20+ years of coaching both pool swimming and open water swimming that I have something of value to offer.

any tips for learning to swim through continual jellyfish attacks during a race?



Like climbing hills on the bike, the most effective way to get better at getting stung by jellyfish is to get stung by jellyfish. I recommend the lower Hudson in July.

Edited by Xan 2013-09-11 8:31 PM


2013-09-12 12:58 AM
in reply to: MOlsen

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Subject: RE: New Triathletes and Open Water Swimming
Originally posted by MOlsen

Originally posted by The Chupacabra

I liked the one about 2000 yds or 10000 yds a week being long/impossible. I'm breaking through that hurdle now.

If I had followed that tip (and a bunch of the other ones as well) I never would have started weekly open water swims.  It felt to me like a lot of the tips were a bit elitist.  The sprint triathlons I've done have ranged from 400-800 yard OWS, expecting a newcomer to be able to handle a 2000 yard swim before attempting an OWS seems extreme.

 

I cannot disagree more.    He's not advocating that you avoid OWS entirely before you can swim 2000yds, rather that you should be focusing MORE on pool training than OWS training.

If you're attempting an 800yd OWS, I would suggest that being able to complete 2000yds is a good starting point for an acceptable margin of safety in open water.  There are so many things that can go wrong in the open water.   Currents, wind, cramps, sickness, obstacles, poor sighting... any of these can increase the actual (or perceived) distance of your OWS, or your time spent on the course.  If you're "at your limit" after 800 yards... there's NO WAY I would suggest attempting an 800yd OWS.  There's just not enough margin for safety.

2013-09-12 9:08 AM
in reply to: Left Brain

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Subject: RE: New Triathletes and Open Water Swimming
Originally posted by Left Brain

Don't concede to Goosedog..... he's elitist through and through.  Believe it.




Slow and elitist. It's really confusing.

2013-09-12 2:26 PM
in reply to: snappingt

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Subject: RE: New Triathletes and Open Water Swimming

Good tips from the OP.

I probably would have scoffed at some of his tips when I was first learning to swim, thinking that 1k continuous, 2k wourkout minimum, and 10k week (he didn't say you actually have to do 10k...just that it doesn't seem impossible).  But looking back, I wish I would have taken his tips to heart when first learning.

It's really amazing how much simply swimming more will do for you.  Triathletes have a really low bar for what constitutes as "adequate" swim training.

2013-09-13 1:13 AM
in reply to: Jason N


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Subject: RE: New Triathletes and Open Water Swimming
I just completed my first sprint/open water swim and I think I broke almost everyone of these guidelines. I swim 1-2 times a week on a good week rocking under 4K yards. After the mayhem at the start I had no prob. Well and fogged goggles I really think it depends on how the person is. I have always been cool under fire so after failing to breathe 3 time straight I just tried again and succeeded on the 4th trie.

Being able the swim the distance you need to swim and knowing you can are huge factors. Panic seems to be the biggest reason for people to fail in an open water swim.
2013-09-13 5:09 AM
in reply to: FELTGood

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Subject: RE: New Triathletes and Open Water Swimming
Cool story bro but the OP is right in my opinion.


2013-09-13 5:14 AM
in reply to: MOlsen

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Subject: RE: New Triathletes and Open Water Swimming
Respectfully elite is 10k+ per day not per week.
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