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Going long distance in the swim

BmanBman Posts: 442
Hey, I was wondering if anyone had any tips for me on being able to get through a long distance open water swim. Im doing fine at sprint distance, completed one olympic distance and that was ok.

But now, ive gone and signed up for one of those 3.8km long distance swims in Sept, thinking it would give me a goal for this year and force me to work on the swimming. So Im working with a coach weekly and having 2/3 sessions a week, so hopefully the technique will be solid. Also got a season of races to build up the stamina.

However, any handy things I should know about and what to expect in the later parts of the swim?



  • Bman,

    Not really any experience in going long in open water but certainly have done my fair share of long distance in the pool.

    The one thing I always found was that I would lose concentration easily. This may not affect you as open water may mean that you have to be continually sighting. Just stay relaxed and try not to use your legs too much in the early stages. Let them come in to play when the arms start getting tired. Unlike the bike leg in Triathlon, you can usually sit on the feet of someone else in front. This will make your swim easier and although its cheeky, its well worth doing. Just make sure that they are swimming in the right direction.

    Can I ask what swim you have signed up for.

  • BmanBman Posts: 442
    Thanks, yeah I need to work on my tailing ability, cos I seem to try follow people who are way too fast for me and ended up behind someone going almost perpendicular to the finish once. Guess its all about building up to the distance..

    Im doing one of the aquaspehere long swim series races (the one at Dorney lake in Sept). I think its organised by votwo events. Quite a scary thought having to swim the length of the lake almost twice, considering how long it takes me to cycle it. Nothing like a push in the deep end to motivate you, I guess.
  • EdstgEdstg Posts: 83
    I'm doing an ironman later this year and went to swim the seas swim course in jan of this year(3.8km). The biggest distraction was as conspiracy theory said losing concentration, Also as you get more tired you will probably lose your form, however by the sounds of things if you have a good technique to fall back on you should be fine. Also once you get into a good rythym you will be surprised how quickly the time can go - it can be qutie hypnotic 2000 - 3000 metres flew by. A few fishs to look at help but if you;re swimming in dorney not sure you can see more than an inch in front of you.
  • BmanBman Posts: 442
    I suppose the only good thing about dorney is the buoy cables running along the bottom, so its pretty easy to swim dead-straight (some might call that cheating, pah!). But its true, the most interesting thing in that lake is the weed on the bottom.
  • BritspinBritspin Posts: 1,655
    I follow the blue lines on the bottom of the pool & no one said I was cheating.
  • Bman, having been inspired by your entry into the long swim, I have taken the plunge (excuse the pun) and have entered an Ironman swim along the River Arun. As mentioned before, I have done plenty of long distance but only in the pool. Have one open water swim (400m) prior to the Arun swim, so might come as a bit of a shock having to do nearly 4k in open water. Its in June so will give you a heads up after I have (hopefully) completed it.
  • BmanBman Posts: 442
    Hey Conspiracy, nice one!! Im glad Im not the only one giving these things a go for the first time. If its in the River, I hope its all downstream!! Im doing the Windsor Tri for the first time in June. Should be my first river swim too, and Ive heard the swim up to the turn buoy can be nasty. You apparently have everyone trying to stick to the edge to avoid the current so the only place to get enough space is in the full current. Good luck and let me know how it goes.
  • clarkey30clarkey30 Posts: 270
    I did that swim last year, i found my shoulder joints were sore at the end but other than that felf pretty good. The issue with it was that fact it was 3 and half laps and i lost count! oh and the fact they made you swim to the far corner to start! so you actually swam over 4 k.
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