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Olympic Distance Help

I have just finished my third season and love it more each year. I have only ever competed in Sprint distance events and really want to have a go at Olympic distance next year. I feel fairly happy upping the distance on the bike and run but the swim has me biting me nails somewhat.

Firstly, is it a massive jump from a pool swim to an open water event? Could i get away with just doing loads of lengths in a pool or do i really need to find a pond somewhere? Any tips here would be great.

Also can anyone direct me to an Olympic distance training prog. I followed a 12 week sprint programme in a back issue of 220 and loved the variety it gave. (I think I get bored easily)

Also can anyone recommend a tri specific wetsuit for under £200? I have looked at orca and 2xu which seem the best value for money. Possibly considering hiring one for the season instead?



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    Firstly, why don't you do a couple of open water sprint distances? It will be great practice for the Olympic.

    I don't think it's a huge jump more a new experience. This year was my first year for competing in triathlons, I started the year with a pool sprint, then moved onto a open water sprint and then open water Olympic, I loved every second of it. However I would strongly advise practising in open water as spotting takes a lot of practice.

    As for wetsuits, if you go along to any event at this time of year you will be able to pick one up second hand, I got mine last year for £50!
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    Get some open water swimming practice in, either in a lake or the sea. You really must do this to get used to swimming in a wet-suit, sighting, and having your stroke unbalanced by water which isn't flat.

    You also need to get used to swimming with other people very close to you. Get 2 or 3 mates into a lane at the pool and all sprint at the same time, next to each other. Or get all your mates to jump into a lake with you and have a fight. Or even just take it in turns to be a 'marker bouy' and all practice bunching up at the turn.*

    In open water swims you will find that for many the preferred stroke is 'Front Brawl'. You need to be ready for a bit of unintended contact.

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    nivaghnivagh Posts: 595

    My first open water swim having been the London tri, I can wholeheartedly endorse anybody saying that you need to practice spotting! I was heading over for the flour mill before I noticed that I was miles off line. At least on the return leg I could swim next to the rope and buoys to keep on a straight (ish) line.

    My other key learning in the open water was to make sure your wetsuit zip isn't in contact with your neck... three and a half weeks later and I still look like I have a wierd love bite! [:-]
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    I can't agree more with the comments so far - you really need to get into some open water. You can do all the distance training in the pool - which will be fine but you need to get used to swimming without the black lines on the bottom and the ends to turn round at. The first time I tried it I hated it - but don't be put off - I love it now and try and go every week just for the fun of it.

    I've got my first Olympic a week on Sunday and have only done a few sprints before - I'm not too worried about the distance (ooh I bet I regret saying that!!) I'm just aiming to pace myself and get to the finish.

    Training wise I've increased my distances over the last few months but nothing too drastic. As it's the first one, I'm kind of using it as a "lets see if I like it" race. Then I think I'll look at some off season training to see if I can get better. Mind you I've got a bit of a thing about doing a middle distance as I'm pretty happy with the endurance stuff but lacking in speed - so I wonder if the longer races would be better for me - who knows - I'll see how this one goes first.

    Hope you have some good training sessions planned - if not PM me and I'll send you some of mine that were done by our club coach - they're pretty good.

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    Thanks to all of you for some great advice, its a big help. The overwhelming feeling is that I need to get in some open water stuff before a race. (Makes sense really).

    legal beagle - you have PM

    Thanks again guys
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