Not too far away from the race now, I trust everyone is excited and ready to rock and roll for this weekend! How bout’ that EPIC stage of the Le Tour over the cobbles?! That was quite the spectacle and has me wanting to roll big gears this weekend! Vive Le Tour!
As we all know, swimming out in the open water and swimming in a pool are quite different… the environment, the water usually isn’t as clean;) people swimming over the top of you, that little black line on the bottom of the pool, swimming with your head up and all that fun stuff. Also, when we swim with a wetsuit on, we tend to lose the feel of the water on our forearms and upper arms… so effectively our paddle in the water isn’t so tactile. It is very good to hop in the wetsuit as much as possible out in the open waves so you can get a feel for it and the differences that are presented. Breathing on both sides when in open water is very helpful… a lot of people struggle with this and love to breath to either the right or left side. This will do a few things for you: it balances out your stroke so you are not dominant on one side with your muscles, it lengthens out your stroke, you swim faster because your heading isn’t moving every stroke and if you have company along side you or in front of you, it enables you to catch a breath if someone is kicking water in your face or if you happen to be swimming directly into waves.
Sighting is a crucial element to open water swimming… we all know how fun it is to swim a few hundred extra meters in a race. Ha ha, seriously guys, lets save those extra meters for the swim pool;) The problem with breathing with your head up, is that your legs sink… creating a lot of drag to slow you down. It is good to practice in the pool or open water head up swimming for a consistent period of time. This will help you to learn how to feel comfortable sighting while swimming, and engaging a little bit of a stronger kick when you lift your head to breathe. You can breath with your head completely up, or with your head taking a quick look and turning your head to the side to grab a quick breathe.
I have attached an excellent link by Gatorade Endurance UK which covers everything from starts, to breathing, to sighting and turning around buoys. It starts slow with an intro to putting on a wet-suit, but after that it really takes off with a lot that everyone can learn from, no matter your level of swimming prowess: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ywrXQUvUkbU
Swim Like a Fish and I will see you Saturday!
Cheers and Be Blessed,
JAH Love! JAH Bless!