Wednesday, 23 September 2009

open water swimming results

what happened during the great open water swim challenge?!

ok so last weekend training peep paul + i headed down to the lake for a swim. while i’ve had quite a few attempts thus far at overcoming my fear of the open water, paul has not. saturday, was his first ow swim.

as our race next weekend is wetsuit optional, and we’re not optioning, we decided to head to the lake without the wetsuit. good idea at the time, but upon arrival, some regret was edging in.

we arrived just after 7am and the lake was bustling with fellow tri-ers. i couldn’t believe how many people were there, not only in numbers, but also the percentage of them wearing wetsuits! i’d be having a guess, but i’d say... maybe about one hundred percent. damnit.

now we were feeling like total newbies (hey, who are we kidding anyway?)

so we hit the lake. i headed out first, with paul behind, forgetting that he might have a ‘first ow swim panic.’ by the time i hit the 300m buoy he was nowhere to be found, and had turned back early. even after spelling it out the night before in my post, i’d forgotten just how hard that first swim is. even the second, and the third.

open water is difficult. hands down. and swimming in a pool doesn’t prepare you for it.

paul’s morale was shot. not being able to complete the 400m one week before his first tri next week - it hurt. there was talk of not doing it. then talk of going uber slowly and hitting upwards of ten minutes...

luckily soon after we hit the hot tub (yes, thank you hot tub) we’d met a fellow tri-er with coaching experience, who offered to return paul to the murky waters and build his confidence. this, she did, and it helped.

soon after, i headed back into the ice blocked lake for another 400m bash, and ended up with a PB!

my quickest time to date for a 400m is 7mins 25secs.

this time, i hit 7mins!

so i was pretty excited about this, and was feeling rather chuffed with a few ‘well done’s’ from the tub of tri-ers (god did i just write that?) unfortunately i later learned they’d moved one of the buoys so it is a bit short of 400m, but i’m still hanging on to the PB :)

(really wish these events/races/training grounds would sort out their distances. like how hard is it to get right??)

but most importantly, the swim felt good. the cold was cold, but bearable. the water was murky, but i didn’t freak out. i actually felt as though maybe, just maybe, i’m getting comfortable with ow.

okay enough back patting - so - it’s four days until Hever Triathlon. i’m feeling sooo uber relaxed about it, which is rather surprising but also quite welcoming! to be honest i do feel a little aimless, so i’m throwing a few on the proverbial table;

1. run faster! i want to sub 20 on that 4k. please please please. i’ve worked *hard* legs. please reward me!

2. swim a PB. i haven’t worked as hard as running, but i’ve worked. PB please.

3. cycle fast. i haven’t done any cycle speed work but i have to write this because i’ve done it for the other two. which makes me realise i need to work on cycle speed. (realisation: i may not cycle faster)

4. enjoy racing with my parents in the crowd! they’re visiting from australia, and this will be the first time they see me race. i’d like to enjoy it enough to show them why i’m up at 5am most mornings.

and quickly - my totals for last week!

monday> 45 minute hilly fartlek run
tuesday> rest
wednesday> 25 minute run, 400 metre open water swim (80%)
thursday> 400 metre open water swim (race pace)
friday> 3km run fartlek
saturday> 2 x 400 metre open water swim
sunday> 250 metre open water swim
monday> 30 mile cycle

and from last monday's 30 mile ride, here's a pic of my final destination; a beautiful castle in Devon!

(the next post will be the race report, fingers crossed!)


Beth said...

Great job conquering the open water! If you can handle the temps, I think you will be glad you didn't wear a wetsuit. For shorter races, I've found that it isn't worth the lost time in transition. You will pass a lot of people struggling to get their wetsuit off. Of course if its cold, wear one! :) Good luck at your race. I can't wait to hear all about it. You will do great!!

Big Daddy Diesel said...

Is your race this weekend? Which race are you doing?

Here is some info for you and Paul. Maybe it will help a little

First, look at and watch this

and second, this is from a OWS swim clinic I went to, alot of information, maybe some of it you can use

tri_al said...

BDD: ahaha that "Train the way you race" still makes me laugh! looooove it!

thanks for the link to ows clinic too, great top tips :)

Beth; yeah i've been tossing up wetsuit vs. tri suit for this race but it takes me 45 secs to get out of my suit, so i've decided to ditch it. if anything, the cold will surely make me swim faster!!

once i buy a suit (i;m renting for the season) then i'll have to work at reducing my out of suit times. but in the meantime, it'll be ice block swims for me!

Steve Stenzel said...

Nice job on the OWS!!! Yeah, I hate how the distance is NEVER right!!

I've been doing tris for 4 years now, and I still need to calm myself down in OW. It takes work. CONGRATS on building that speed too!!

Good luck at the race!!