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maui7301's picture
Joined: Jul 30 2007
Posts: 16
Pool swiming VS Open water

Hi,

Before my HIM I was training exclusively on my gym's pool. I would finish the 1.2 miles in 40 mins. Wich I thought was very reasonable. But during the race, using a wetsuit I finished the swim in 56 minutes.

This week, I went for a 1000 meter ocean swim and I finished in 30 minutes (a lot!).

Is it normal to do more time in open water than in a swimming pool? or Am I doing something wrong? Does this happen to you?

PJT
PJT's picture
Joined: Aug 16 2005
Posts: 1513

For most people, swimming with a tri wetsuit should be faster. There are some possibilities for a slower OW swim:

1. If you are zig-zagging on the course, you're swimming farther than in a pool.
2. The act of sighting--lifting your head to spot a landmark--can interrupt your stroke and slow you down.
3. Swim race courses are notoriously inaccurate, so your HIM swim might have been long.
4. Being caught up in the excitement/panic of a start and ignoring your stroke technique will also slow you down.
5. Currents.

There are probably some other reasons, too.

UFTriGator's picture
Joined: Mar 22 2006
Posts: 1249

It'll depend on the person, too. I come from a predominantly short course racing background, so my pool swims are significantly faster than open water. If I'm wearing a wetsuit, it won't be as much of a difference, but I'm usually still faster in the pool. However, it shouldn't be a 16 minute difference....maybe 1 or 2. It's easy to forget proper stroke technique when going from the pool to open water.

RV
RV's picture
Joined: Jan 19 2005
Posts: 3419

Form can also fall apart in open water swims, lots of distractions, other swimmers colliding with you, wave, current, etc. Mostly need to relax and focus. Also practice OWS once a week or so.

geochuck's picture
Joined: Mar 29 2005
Posts: 486

Hi RV nice to see you commenting.

There is a difference, I find if you are swimming a one mile swim in open water and it is a half mile in one direction and a half mile back. Your half miles can differ from 0 minutes to 10 minutes depending on currents.

I have gone 20 miles in less than 2 hours with a tide outflow. I have done 10 miles with the tide in the opposite direction and taken 7 hours and 18 minutes.

If you are swimming a mile with a wet suit on, you should be much faster then if swimming a mile in a pool. You may have had current troubles.

RV
RV's picture
Joined: Jan 19 2005
Posts: 3419

[QUOTE=geochuck;75052]
I have gone 20 miles in less than 2 hours with a tide outflow.[/QUOTE]

Wowzers we could water ski behind you! :D

kylie's picture
Joined: Jun 1 2004
Posts: 5521

geochuck -- swimming for over 7 hours! nice!!

I did the same half IM... the current was minimal since it is in a river that is dam'ed to make a swimming area. I could feel it a bit on the way out, but since it was an out and back we then also got the benefit on the way back.

With how that particular course is set up, sighting is HARD!! The bouys are not a straight line -- either with each other or the shore or anything. They have to weave a bit to keep both the out and the back in deep enough water (yes, you can walk huge sections of that swim if you want).

geochuck's picture
Joined: Mar 29 2005
Posts: 486

Kyillee 7 hours the shorter swims the longer ones took a few hours longer, some as long as 24 and 30 hours. The races 10 miles to 66 miles. The 10 mile races took 3hrs :40 minutes to 4 hours (no wet suits) in Lake Ontario.

kylie's picture
Joined: Jun 1 2004
Posts: 5521

crazy (in that good way)! :) Nutrition (from what I've read) is much harder on the water.

geochuck's picture
Joined: Mar 29 2005
Posts: 486

Feedings on the water all in a paper or foam cup. We used to have a boat with us in the long swims the cup was handed to us. If it was a course they usually had a barge and we took the feedings again cup handed to us from the barge. You were not allowed to touch the boat, the barge or a person. In a swim accros a lake or from mainland to an island we coulbe seperated by 3 or 4 miles apart. We had to start together and finish at the same finish line. In the 32 mile cross lake Ontario racewe were 13 miles apart but all heading for the same destination. Wind and currents do strange things.

beads1985's picture
Joined: Mar 11 2004
Posts: 6147

That is pretty cool.

I swim a bit faster in OW if it is a lake because I do open turns instead of flip turns. In the ocean I have has mixed results due to currents.

trifriend's picture
Joined: Jul 30 2007
Posts: 6

I heard that the chlorine in the pool is bad for your wetsuit or triathlon clothes in general. anyone know the details on this?

geochuck's picture
Joined: Mar 29 2005
Posts: 486

There are a few little stories here about open water swims

.[url]http://swimdownhill.com/_wsn/page9.html[/url]

catwood's picture
Joined: Nov 4 2004
Posts: 1050

I agree with what others have said. Its easy to zig zag is ow. Its very easy to lose all technique in any swim race, especially in ow.

beads1985's picture
Joined: Mar 11 2004
Posts: 6147

[QUOTE=trifriend;75193]I heard that the chlorine in the pool is bad for your wetsuit or triathlon clothes in general. anyone know the details on this?[/QUOTE]

Chlorine will deteriorate your swimsuit or a wetsuit if you try using it in a pool. Just rinse whatever you wear in cool, clear water afterwards to remove as much chlorine as possible.

You can also put you wetsuit in the tub with a little bit of shampoo that is made specifically for getting chlorine out of your hair.

Personally I don't use my wetsuit in the pool ever. :D

IsabelleBrown's picture
Joined: Apr 6 2011
Posts: 1
My routine is I swim 3 times

My routine is I swim 3 times a week in a pool and at least once in open water during weekends.

BrentonFord's picture
Joined: Jun 11 2011
Posts: 36
It depends on the

It depends on the conditions. If there is sweep or chop then it can slow you down, also if you go off track. Typically swimming with a wetsuit is quicker because of the buoyancy.

ChP80's picture
Joined: Feb 1 2013
Posts: 5
I find that it's very easy

I find that it's very easy to get off track, you have to take currents into account, more distractions etc. Also, the few seconds it takes to have a look to get your bearings, all add up. It just takes practise.

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