Open water training advice?
I've been practicing in open water, in a shallow and usually very calm part of the San Francisco Bay. (Coyote Point in San Mateo, for those of you who know the area).
My goal is to be able to swim any distance with relaxation. A mile would be great -- that would be two big loops around the pilings that mark out the swimming area here.
I've done many drills both in the bay and in a local pool, and they have helped a lot.
My problem is, like many people, with breathing. After reading two TI books and watching some videos and doing lots of drills, I think my form has improved a lot -- I'm much more streamlined and relaxed. But I'm still getting out of breath after 50-100 meters, and once I start getting very out of breath I get panicky and my form goes to pieces.
As a result I've been very nervous about swimming very far from shore. I like to stick close to shore where I can stand up and catch my breath if I need to.
Today I did about 1/4 mile in 15 minutes and was completely winded to the point where I felt like I couldn't continue working out effectively. It was totally, glassy calm water and a beautiful, warm morning, so the weather/waves weren't the problem.
Any advice for me?