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first open water race !!!!

bulletbullet Posts: 115
This being my first season in Tri ,and having done 3 pool based sprint races , I am now doing my first open water race in 2 weeks .
What advice can you give for the swim , & T1 ?


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    FlavadaveFlavadave Posts: 749
    Firstly, if you can do try and get some open water practice in before the event. There's no substitute.

    With OW there are a few things to contend with as opposed to the pool. Firstly, the water will be colder. You'll have a wetsuit but the initial shock can make your heart rate go through the roof, so get in before the start and get used to it first. Get your head in the water, and do some breathing exercises.

    Secondly, the water will be murky (unless you're racing abroad), so no black line to follow and if you're like me, you will meader along the course doing 30% extra distance. So sighting is essential, pick a landmark that you can follow easily. Don't necessarily follow the person in front... it might be me!

    Thirdly, your wetsuit makes swimming quite different. Good in that it gives you bouyancy and keeps your legs up, but more restricted in terms of shoulder rotation, and, if you're not used to it you may find it feels tight across your chest making your breathing more difficult.

    All of these conditions can feel like they're conspiring against you, but everyone goes through this. Be prepared, if you can't get practice in before, try and get in the water a good 10mins before the race starts and just float around.

    I do enjoy OW swimming now after a few bad experiences.

    Oh, and don't forget the bodyglide round the neck!
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    TRIumphantTRIumphant Posts: 850
    . . . and ankes, wrists, shoulders and armpits.

    Best advice, enjoy it.
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    agree with everything that Flavadave has to say (generally do, fairly sharp cookie!!), another point to add is that, if like me you don't have the greatest body position when non-wetsuit swimming you may well find your swim times aare rather better than before (I swim 400m in 8 mins in the pool and sub 7 mins in OW)

    But best bit of advice is enjoy yourself, it may seem daunting at first but by the time you exit you will be loving it.
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    gingertrigingertri Posts: 277
    Definately do some OW practice, sigting wise, theres something called "crocodile sighting" where every two or three breaths, you raise your head up so that just your eyes are above the surface - hence the crocodile, have a quick look whilst finishing that set (i do two strokes then look down and breathe out normally). dont let your legs drop in the water though as that will take up too much time. The more OW you swim, the less you'll weave and the easier it will be! enjoy and look for the merpeople near the bottom (just kidding)
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    bulletbullet Posts: 115
    Thanks all for your advice .
    I have had 2 OW swim sessions so far ,first time found it daunting ,second time started out the same ,but got a lot better on the second lap even if it did seem slow !!!!
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    shadowone1shadowone1 Posts: 1,408
    I would second everything that folks have said but would add the following:

    1. Breathing - Do not panic. You'll have a huge shock to the system and you will start to find your breathing restricted. Get in the water before hand get used to the cold. If you are struggling on the swim. Stop and lie on your back. However, check with the race marshall as usually if you go on your back you'll be pulled from the water.

    2. Sighting - Got idea to go to the pool and put a pull bouy between the legs at the crotch and practice on sighting. The pull bouy will mimick the bouyancy of the wet suit. It will also let you work on swimming with arms only thus improving strength in the shoulder areas.

    3. Don't worry. on my first OW I was crap. Don't read anything into because it will show you what to do and what not to do. Most important thing is to use it as bench mark and learn from it.

    All that can be said is get in the water and enjoy it.

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