Open water

The key to faster racing: Negative Splitting

For middle- and long-distance swimmers pacing is a key element in successful races. The ideal pacing, which leads to the fastest possible times, is to negative split. A negative split is where the second half is faster than the first half of the swim. To achieve this goal, you must swim this way at workouts.…

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Swimming in the Heat

As we move into the hottest months of the year I want to provide a reminder and a few hints to all who swim outside.  Let’s address the life-threatening side first.  There is a reason why the USA Swimming Association has rules about water temperatures for races. USA Swimming rules dictate that water temperature cannot…

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Tapering and the Distance Swimmer

As a distance swimmer you can only effectively taper so many times in a year. As a collegiate swimmer I could only do a full taper twice a year, once at the end of short course season (March), and once at the end of long course season (August). Too often athletes try to taper or…

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Swimming and the Water Bottle

Let me ask you a question, do you run with water? Do you bike with water?  I know you said yes. When I coach my beginner triathlon group, I ask them these questions during our first work out each year. Virtually everyone is nodding their head yes as I ask these two questions. I point…

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Holiday Break

Are you off work for the holiday season? If you are, I have a question.  Did you use this as an opportunity to increase your training? Or did you reduce your training, or even take the entire time off? I try to use the end of year holiday season as the start of my heavy…

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Training Open Water vs. The Pool

Every spring many of my triathlete swimmers head out to the lake and I don’t see them again until late fall when the weather and water become too cold for training swims, even with a wetsuit on. Are you one of these swimmers? If you are this is for you. As an open water distance…

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Warming Up in Cold Water

Fall has arrived for most of us that means lake and ocean temperatures are falling. For most triathletes that means it is time to take the wetsuit out of the closet.  For those of us who are competitive open water swimmers, wetsuits are not legal in races.  I have seen race water temps get into…

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Going around Buoys in Open Water Races

If you are an open water competitor or triathlete please read this post about swimming around buoys during races. All of us who compete in open water know how the crowd will tighten up around the turn buoys. As we swim the course people naturally spread out, but as the group approaches the turn everyone…

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The Value of Training Snorkels

There are a few items I want everyone to understand about training snorkels: First, don’t go grab your standard scuba snorkel and use it as a training tool. Nontraining snorkels are built to go up the side of your head and need to be attached to a mask strap to stay in place.  Training snorkels…

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