Open Water Swimming

So armed with my rental wetsuit I headed out to Luther Burbank Park last night for my first open water swim (its 4 weeks till the triathlon). I'm certainly not the worlds fastest or best swimmer but I have been practising in the pool and I've got myself up to 800m of freestyle so I *was* pretty confident about the triathlon. A local athletics store, Everyday Athlete, runs some free group swimming sessions so we went to join them. Most of them it turns out are training for an ironman (2.4 mile swim) so they are a little out of my league. My triathlon partner in crime, 'J', is swimming a 3.2 mile swim for crazy people in 3 weeks (yes that's the week before the triathlon - told you she was crazy) so she went out with the other crazy people.

Since this swim was:

  1. My 1st time in the open water
  2. My 1st time swimming in a wetsuit
  3. My 1st time (for a long time) swimming in cold water
  4. My 1st time in a stupid swim cap

I was advised not to go out too far.. thank goodness for good advice. The cold wasn't an issue - I've swum in the sea in the UK enough as a kid. The hat wasn't an issue other than getting the damn thing on. But swimming in a wetsuit is something that I am going to take time getting used to. The suit is buoyant so it lifts your legs higher than you are used to. Apparently this helps with your swimming posture and makes you go faster but I felt like someone was holding my head under the water most of the time. I was very close to taking it off and swimming without it. After about 40 minutes (and probably less than 400m) I was starting to get the feel of it but it doesn't feel very natural to me.

So as predicted today I will be spending another $200 and will be the proud owner of my own wet suit. At $35 a rental it will make its money back well before the tri as I think i need to get 4-5 more open water swims in to get the hang of it.

Published 26 June 2007 01:09 AM by zman


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