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  #1  
Old 05-22-2010
KatieK KatieK is offline
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Location: Scottsdale, AZ, USA
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KatieK
Default Sighting

Hi All,
I signed up for my first open water event next weekend, and today I did a nice swim on a lake with my masters team. This was the first time I swam any real yardage on open water.

It felt great except for sighting. My biggest concern is that my neck is sore from lifting my head to sight. In the Outside the Box DVD, it looks like they are raising their bodies more than just their necks to sight--in other words, maintaining alignment of head, neck and spine. How do you do that?

My other problem was with being able to see the buoys once my head was out of the water. My goggles were fogging up--is there a product I can use to keep that from happening? They're only a few weeks old.

Even from a boat, I find those buoys very hard to see. I tried the tip from another thread of looking for a big landmark behind the buoy, but the landscape was pretty homogeneous at a quick glance.
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Old 05-22-2010
terry terry is offline
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Katie
We don't focus on raising our bodies to take that sneak peek. Rather, we practice just trying to "surf" our goggles barely over the surface. In the Outside the Box DVD, you'll notice two ways of doing this

Shinji peeks without breathing. I.E. He returns his face to the water for a couple more strokes before taking a breath.

I peek and integrate it with a breath. I.E. Immediately - and seamlessly - after taking a breath I fall into a normal left-side breath.

Note: this is different from what many people do while sighting in open water. I.E. Lift the head above the surface and keep it there for 2 or more strokes while trying to see what's ahead. This hurts your balance, slows you down and makes you uncomfortable and tired.

When we teach this at our Open Water Experience camps, we teach it in several steps. You can try this next time you're in open water.

• Swim about 50m breathing bilaterally. Take about 3 "sneak-peeks" with goggles barely clearing surface. Don’t integrate w/breathing. Separate your peeks sufficiently that you can fit in a couple of regular breaths between them. Find out if you're more comfortable peeking as left or right hand extends. (For me it's left hand.) This will likely be the same side as your best breathing side.
• Swim several repeats of about 50m. Peek 3x by following your "favored hand" forward. Don’t try to integrate breathing. Again, separate your peeks enough to easily fit in a couple of regular breaths between them. Repeat this until the sneak peeks fit smoothly into your stroke rhythm. This is what Shinji does on the DVD.
• Swim 30-40m practicing peek-then-breathe as I demonstrate on the DVD. You will probably find it much easier to do what Shinji does than what I demonstrate. It took me some time to develop facility with this. Now I can do it so easily I can really peek as often as I want, with no loss of balance, rhythm or speed.

Part Four of the Outside the Box e-book "Navigation: How to Swim the Shortest Distance" has three chapters devoted to improving your sighting and navigating skills.
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  #3  
Old 05-23-2010
KatieK KatieK is offline
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Thanks, Terry. I did some practice on this yesterday, and it helped to break it down like that. You're right that the sneak peeks were easier for me, also less strain on my neck.
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  #4  
Old 02-17-2013
nurledge nurledge is offline
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nurledge
Default doing a research open sighting - recreate a video

compiling a video based on Terry's note:

http://youtu.be/9AzS65hvtqc
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  #5  
Old 03-12-2013
nurledge nurledge is offline
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Default losing sight

i had total failure during my 1st ever open water swimming last weekend. I did practice in a pool, it was looking good. But did not work at all in the sea. I can't see the buoy and lost orientation. I had to halt swimming and look for a buoy everytime I felt drifted away.

My guess to overcome this, next time i swim again in the sea, is not to lose the sighting. means I have to do proper sighting very often, maybe every 10 stroke. This is my guess. Please correct it.

nurledge.
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  #6  
Old 03-12-2013
andyinnorway andyinnorway is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nurledge View Post
i had total failure during my 1st ever open water swimming last weekend. I did practice in a pool, it was looking good. But did not work at all in the sea. I can't see the buoy and lost orientation. I had to halt swimming and look for a buoy everytime I felt drifted away.

My guess to overcome this, next time i swim again in the sea, is not to lose the sighting. means I have to do proper sighting very often, maybe every 10 stroke. This is my guess. Please correct it.

nurledge.
Swimming open water for the first couple of times with or without a wet suit is surprisingly hard. The good news is it also gets surprisingly easier after a few swims.

My number 1 tip is look for something in line with the buoy that is bigger on land and higher if that is available. This can be anything from a sharp change in the tree line, an aluminum ice cream van, a lamp post or an electricity pumping station. The reason for this is that your brain can spot them even when things are quick and blurry. Then you just adjust your direction where necessary and get on with the next stroke.

Top tip number 2 is that sometimes you can hold the sun's position in your goggle if you are swimming towards the sun at all. I did a sea race last year, kept the sun's glare at 10-Oclock in my goggle and was able to do 160 stroke cycles without looking up or going off course, and I'm a novice at open water sighting so it was a big bonus.
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  #7  
Old 03-12-2013
kentakirk kentakirk is offline
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You definitely need to learn to sight for yourself as the above posts have beautifully explained although one big advantage to an open water race is that you are not alone. My favorite position in a race is slightly behind someone to my right because I prefer to breath on the right side. In doing this, I keep that persons lower body or feet in view. You will need to continue to look to confirm that the person you are following is swimming a straight line although I have found that I do not need to look as often. You also get some advantageous drafting off the lead swimmer. As others have said, the more races you are in, the easier it becomes.
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