FROM POOL TO POND

Triathlon Magazine Canada - - Front Page - BY CLINT LIEN

ANOTHER SEA­SON OF open wa­ter swim­ming is fast ap­proach­ing and it won’t be long be­fore it’s time to dig out the wet­suit. But, be­fore you put a toe into any open wa­ter, there are a number of things you can do in the pool to make the tran­si­tion a smooth and sat­is­fy­ing one. While most of the prepa­ra­tion for open wa­ter swim­ming should hap­pen a month or two be­fore the start of the out­door sea­son, sight­ing is some­thing you can, and should, prac­tice year­round. I reg­u­larly ded­i­cate sev­eral hun­dred me­tres of warm-up time to sight­ing, hav­ing peo­ple prac­tice sight­ing ev­ery fifth to seventh stroke. Sight­ing needs to be ef­fec­tive and smooth in or­der to hold a straight line and min­i­mize mo­men­tum loss.

1.There are es­sen­tially three dif­fer­ent ways to sight while swim­ming: The first is sim­ply to look up and then back down with­out tak­ing a breath. Many begin­ners start with this method. The sec­ond is to sight and breathe. Look up and then, as you dip your head back down, turn to the left or right and grab a breath. The third method is to breathe and sight. Here you take a breath and then es­sen­tially fol­low your re­cov­er­ing hand to the front, take your bear­ings, then drop your head.

All three of th­ese meth­ods should be ex­e­cuted within one stroke and you need to be care­ful not to drop your hips as you’re tak­ing the sight­ing stroke. Tak­ing one or two stronger kicks as you’re sight­ing can help keep your hips up high in the wa­ter. Try all all three meth­ods un­til one stands out as the best for you. Make sure it still fits and is hold­ing to­gether. If it is an older suit the rub­ber might be break­ing down. It’s best to find this out in train­ing – not 600 me­tres from shore.— CL

OPEN WA­TER PRAC­TICE TEST OUT YOUR WET­SUIT AT LEAST ONCE IN THE POOL BE­FORE HIT­TING THE LAKE OR OCEAN FOR THE FIRST TIME.

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