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I'm training for a 25km open water race (P2P Rottnest) in 4 weeks. I was swimming more open water sessions per week, but have slowly changed back to mostly squad swimming in a pool with only 1 ows per week. I was finding that I wasn't getting much bang for your buck with the open water sessions, especially if swimming in perfect conditions. I'd get out the water feeling fine after a 4 or 5km swim, whereas with squad I'm absolutely shagged and I feel that's why my swimming is improving. 

 
But then I think about it,  I'm doing 100s, 200s, 400s on a time cycle, how relevant is that to a 25km open water swim? It's a very different type of training. It would be like training for a marathon only doing 800m interval sessions on the track. However, I know that if I did a 1km TT now, I would be significantly faster than if I had only been swimming open water sessions. 
 
There are guys that have complained their swimming has not improved much over the last few months, they squad swim once and open water swim 4 times per week. I'm swimming 6 times in the pool, once in the ocean. So I kind of think I'm doing the right thing. I've raced a lot in shitty conditions so it's not like I need to become accustomed to swimming in crap. What do you reckon??
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A very good swimmer (Pier to Pub winner over here) once told me that she barely did any open water training, because she just couldn't get the same benefits as she would from swimming in a pool. I my own experience is similar, & I'd be interested in other peoples' opinions.

As for the specifics of the pool sets & their relevance, I'd defer to the gurus like @coach. 

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Pool swimming is definitely better bang for your buck performance-wise, but I swim open water more because I love it.  I'm not really racing any more anyway so it's all about enjoying what I do 

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12 minutes ago, -H- said:

Pool swimming is definitely better bang for your buck performance-wise, but I swim open water more because I love it.  I'm not really racing any more anyway so it's all about enjoying what I do 

I’m with you.  The bay especially this last week has been awesome for swimming. 
 

im the same with the bike. Rather outdoors than indoor riding.  

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1 hour ago, Katz said:

If you get conditions like yesterday,  you'll be grateful for some rough water experience. It was farked. 

A few DNFS hey?

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2 hours ago, zed said:

A few DNFS hey?

Yeah, I'd be interested to see the numbers.

And probably more than a few continued to swim in (or in some cases - drive in on the boat and swim the last 700m) even after the cut-off and should have been DNF's but are still listed as completed.

It was a tough day all around out there.

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46 minutes ago, Katz said:

Yeah, I'd be interested to see the numbers.

And probably more than a few continued to swim in (or in some cases - drive in on the boat and swim the last 700m) even after the cut-off and should have been DNF's but are still listed as completed.

It was a tough day all around out there.

Did you do the solo?

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nothing wrong doing your squad sets of 400's/ 200's and even 100's etc, provided rest is short, i.e 5-10 secs, for 100's, 20 secs for 400's. also, a good endurance set of 30-40x100's all 15 secs rest. practice sighting will also be needed to be practiced in the pool, as is ensuring you can bilateral breathe. 

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3 hours ago, Katz said:

No, I paddled for a team. 

How did you go?

My paddler pulled out today as she saw the conditions yesterday and doesn't think she can manage it!

Do you want to paddle for me??

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7 minutes ago, zed said:

How did you go?

My paddler pulled out today as she saw the conditions yesterday and doesn't think she can manage it!

Do you want to paddle for me??

Yesterday was the third time I've paddled to Rottnest. Once with a fast solo swimmer, second time with a slower team. Following the first two times I said "never again..."

After yesterday, I meant it.

It.Was.Carnage.

I had to swap out for about an hour with one of the boys on the boat, but otherwise, managed it, just. I am in all sorts of pain today, bashed and bruised from getting on and off the kayak in the rough seas. In retrospect, I should have stayed put. I hadn't been able to take a sip of water for about an hour previously though as it was just non-stop hard paddling. All day I ate a vegemite sanga and a half can of coke. It was impossible to get anything else in. A camelback with nutrition as a backup plan would have solved that problem, but we had no real idea how bad it would get and how quickly.

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44 minutes ago, Callum Dalgleish McGregor said:

Well thats all I ever did. I never had to swim in the open water for practice. But I can swim in the open water and have open water skills. Most punters dont and swimming to a big lane block at one end of a 50m pool with a nice black line on the bottom in case you get lost wont help you when shit gets real. Trust me. 

and maybe practice less "glide" and more turnover, which has been my problem when I get to open water.  I have even been using a finis, as my stroke rate is abysmal. 

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1 hour ago, Prince said:

and maybe practice less "glide" and more turnover, which has been my problem when I get to open water.  I have even been using a finis, as my stroke rate is abysmal. 

What stroke rate are you trying to aim for?

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16 minutes ago, more said:

What stroke rate are you trying to aim for?

My stroke rate has been around 44 p/min and i average 1.35 per 100 at a half ironman.  Trying to move it up around 50. 

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2 hours ago, Prince said:

and maybe practice less "glide" and more turnover, which has been my problem when I get to open water.  I have even been using a finis, as my stroke rate is abysmal. 

Not sure if a high stroke rate is good or not? I think it's about efficiency isn't it?

 SWOLF - is the combination of your stroke count and time taken in the water and is often used as a measure of your swimming 

I watch some young kids squad swim and they have a crazy stroke rate of 90+ they go fast, but it doesn't look very efficient. In comparison Thorpe's stroke rate was mid 60s? I would have to have a look at my Garmin Data, but I'm pretty sure the last few months my stroke rate has slowed and I've got quicker.  Although I'm not sure about the accuracy of the Garmin swim data. e.g it will give you the lap splits, but the times are off, so it might take your first lap at 55m, 2nd lap 45m, so the times are whacko. Does this then mess with the other data like stroke rate, SWOLF etc

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13 minutes ago, zed said:

Not sure if a high stroke rate is good or not? I think it's about efficiency isn't it?

 SWOLF - is the combination of your stroke count and time taken in the water and is often used as a measure of your swimming 

I watch some young kids squad swim and they have a crazy stroke rate of 90+ they go fast, but it doesn't look very efficient. In comparison Thorpe's stroke rate was mid 60s? I would have to have a look at my Garmin Data, but I'm pretty sure the last few months my stroke rate has slowed and I've got quicker.  Although I'm not sure about the accuracy of the Garmin swim data. e.g it will give you the lap splits, but the times are off, so it might take your first lap at 55m, 2nd lap 45m, so the times are whacko. Does this then mess with the other data like stroke rate, SWOLF etc

I am pretty efficient................in a pool.  Swof of around 37-46.  I can easily take 10-11 strokes per 25metres. Problem is that unless anyone is swimming in a smooth lake, a high turnover is going to be more efficient. If your in any choppy water, it is counterproductive to try and glide. 

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17 minutes ago, Prince said:

I am pretty efficient................in a pool.  Swof of around 37-46.  I can easily take 10-11 strokes per 25metres. Problem is that unless anyone is swimming in a smooth lake, a high turnover is going to be more efficient. If your in any choppy water, it is counterproductive to try and glide. 

yup gotcha.

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1 hour ago, zed said:

What Kayak did you use Simone? Apparently a few people had issues capsizing because of their choice of kayak.

I learned my lesson with previous crossings. This time (and the first time) I used a nice wide sit on top kayak. The long and narrow surf ones are rubbish for the crossing.

I had no issue with capsizing (except when trying to get on and off to the boat in the rough seas). But I did see a lot of people coming off, even on the wider ones. I'd imagine those people may not have done a lot of paddling and didn't know how to approach and handle the waves. On a racing ski though, you would have had little hope unless you were very experienced.

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According to my Garmin 935, my last swim (4x500/2:00) saw an average SWOLF of 79, with 23 strokes per 50m length at 24 strokes per minute. Average paces for the 500m intervals were 1:55, 1:52, 1:52 and 1:52 for total times of 9:33, 9:20, 9:22 and 9:20.

I feel like if I turn my arms over any faster, I'm just flailing around and not catching/grabbing/holding the water properly. My coach wants me to average at least 30 spm, but I've never once been able to get there without blowing myself to pieces aerobically. 

For comparison, I set a new 2000m PB 2 weeks ago, and my stats then were 1:53/100m, SWOLF 80 and 24 spm. 37:48 for the 2000m. 1000m PB a few weeks prior was 1:50/100m, SWOLF 80 and 25rpm.18:24 total time. In the last 50m length, I hit 29spm and 1:36/100m, but I was also at 186bpm.

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53 minutes ago, BNothling said:

According to my Garmin 935, my last swim (4x500/2:00) saw an average SWOLF of 79, with 23 strokes per 50m length at 24 strokes per minute. Average paces for the 500m intervals were 1:55, 1:52, 1:52 and 1:52 for total times of 9:33, 9:20, 9:22 and 9:20.

I feel like if I turn my arms over any faster, I'm just flailing around and not catching/grabbing/holding the water properly. My coach wants me to average at least 30 spm, but I've never once been able to get there without blowing myself to pieces aerobically. 

For comparison, I set a new 2000m PB 2 weeks ago, and my stats then were 1:53/100m, SWOLF 80 and 24 spm. 37:48 for the 2000m. 1000m PB a few weeks prior was 1:50/100m, SWOLF 80 and 25rpm.18:24 total time. In the last 50m length, I hit 29spm and 1:36/100m, but I was also at 186bpm.

A common mistake is to try and speed up your 'turnover' by increasing the rate at which you move the arms from exiting at the hip to entering out front. This is what leads to the 'flailing' about and getting tuckered out aerobically...

Most adult onset swimmers can increase SPM markedly by focussing on eliminating wasted time at the other end- entry->reach->pull->exit.

Rather than entering, reaching as far as you can, pausing, then 'catch and pulling' try and drive to full extension, catch and pull in a motion so your hands are never stationary.

from Swim Smooth http://previous.swimsmooth.com/slowsr.html

Think about starting the catch earlier.

- Keep the lead hand in constant motion, it's either extending, tipping, catching or pulling. It never actually stops moving in good swimming technique.


Disclaimer: I am cr@p
 

 

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4 minutes ago, pieman said:

A common mistake is to try and speed up your 'turnover' by increasing the rate at which you move the arms from exiting at the hip to entering out front. This is what leads to the 'flailing' about and getting tuckered out aerobically...

Most adult onset swimmers can increase SPM markedly by focussing on eliminating wasted time at the other end- entry->reach->pull->exit.

Rather than entering, reaching as far as you can, pausing, then 'catch and pulling' try and drive to full extension, catch and pull in a motion so your hands are never stationary.

from Swim Smooth http://previous.swimsmooth.com/slowsr.html

Think about starting the catch earlier.

- Keep the lead hand in constant motion, it's either extending, tipping, catching or pulling. It never actually stops moving in good swimming technique.


Disclaimer: I am cr@p
 

 

Yes, agree. I think you can and possibly should use a pause or glide as i call it if you are racing in  longer distances in a swimming pool.  It pays to remove the pause in open water, however without thrashing around. A good drill is simply the head above water drill, or the fist drill which both force you into perpetual arm motion. 

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Interesting discussion. 

I'd use the analogy of learning guitar. The chords and finger placement on the fret board are slow and cumbersome at first. The strumming half time. After a while the speed increases while the efficiency is maintained.

Build the seamless stroke then increase like the advice above otherwise yes its flailing and youré missing all the key notes.

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4 hours ago, Coach@triathlon said:

Interesting discussion. 

I'd use the analogy of learning guitar. The chords and finger placement on the fret board are slow and cumbersome at first. The strumming half time. After a while the speed increases while the efficiency is maintained.

Build the seamless stroke then increase like the advice above otherwise yes its flailing and youré missing all the key notes.

And most people haven't got the patience to start slow, so the guitar sits in the corner for months at a time...

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4 hours ago, Coach@triathlon said:

Interesting discussion. 

I'd use the analogy of learning guitar. The chords and finger placement on the fret board are slow and cumbersome at first. The strumming half time. After a while the speed increases while the efficiency is maintained.

Build the seamless stroke then increase like the advice above otherwise yes its flailing and youré missing all the key notes.

Thanks for that. Rather than focus on swim speed over the past few years, I've concentrated on being more efficient and effective with my stroke, which I think is where the slow swim rpm comes from. As volume and general swim fitness has increased, the pace has slowly come down with it. I know that I'm not fast by any stretch, but it's better than the 2:15/100m I was punching out when I started. 

I'll use the offseason period that I set myself to focus on increasing the cadence a little bit and removing that glide at the front end. I swam last night and noticed that my left arm does hang out there just chilling for what feels like a while.

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