Total Immersion Forums  

Go Back   Total Immersion Forums > Outside the Box: Open Water Swimming
FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 05-18-2013
harling harling is offline
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 31
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
Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2013
cs10 cs10 is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 26

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.
Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2013
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 2,453

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.
Suzanne Atkinson, MD
Level 3 USAT Coach
USA Paralympic Triathlon Coach
Coach of 5 time USA Triathlon Triathlete of the Year, Kirsten Sass
Steel City Endurance, LTD
Fresh Freestyle

Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2013
CoachToby CoachToby is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 119

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.
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

All times are GMT. The time now is 01:37 AM.

Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.