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  #1  
Old 05-18-2013
harling harling is offline
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harling
Default Hip and legs in the sea

In the pool, I can do an hour of freestyle with a pretty reasonable two beat kick the whole way. However, in the sea I can't get my legs to kick for longer than a minute or so without incredible concentration. Since there are waves as well to think about, I swim mostly with no leg kick and a corresponding lack of hip drive, so I am slower than the pool. Last year I did a 4.6 mile tide assisted swim around Brownsea Island uk with no leg kick in 1h 55m, and would like to beat it this year. Any ideas?

Last edited by harling : 05-18-2013 at 06:04 AM. Reason: improve clarity
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Old 05-18-2013
cs10 cs10 is offline
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Remember that swimming in a pool and in the ocean are totally different . In an area with waves, strong tides and a close island you can get some very tricky swirly waters. If you only just have your 2bk down in the pool it can be hard to keep with all the extra stimulus in rough water. I just accept the fact that the ocean is in charge and try to mentally relax and trust my body to do it's job rather than doing mental calculations.

I remember feeling my stroke was getting there when we had a nice calm ocean for a week or so (rare here) and then feeling disappointed when I could feel myself doing a small flutter with one leg after my kick. Then I saw Suzanne's analysis of a female triathlete who was kicking off to the side to compensate for one arm crossing over her centreline. I realised the extra flutter was my body's way of rebalancing as a wave hit me from the side, and not a major problem with my kick.

The more difficult the conditions the more important it is to keep your breath smooth. If you can keep your breath smooth your stroke will be smooth (as much as conditions allow ) I usually like to breathe every 3rd stroke but if I'm constantly getting hit in the face as I breathe I just breathe away from side on waves or if I only get an occasional wave in the face I just spit the water out without disrupting my stroke and take a breath on the next stroke. The masters at any endeavour are the ones who can keep there rhythm going under pressure. Your breathe is usually the guide.
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Old 05-18-2013
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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I have to think to make my kick deeper in the ocean than in the pool or else it won't engage. I can swim fine in the ocean with zero kick. YOu may be slower int he ocean because there are no walls to push off of.

If you feel like you can't kick at all, then core stablity work is probably needed to keep things undercontrol and get them to still engage in the ocean when the legs float high.

Don't give up.
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Old 05-18-2013
CoachToby CoachToby is offline
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I've experienced the same problem in the past. I suspect it has something to do with the fact that the legs are more buoyant in sea water, so letting them draft behind the body isn't too costly in terms of drag (many triathletes are coached to turn off the kick when swimming in open water, and told to rely on the "unnatural" buoyancy of the wetsuit). Pool practise is the key. The kick should eventually become so integral to the stroke that it happens completely automatically.
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