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

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 06-16-2010
shuumai shuumai is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: New Jersey, USA
Posts: 1,077
shuumai
Send a message via Skype™ to shuumai
Red face First Lake Swim

I know this is going to sound pathetic...

Say I actually swim in a lake this summer instead of the usual 25-yard concrete pond, I'm curious about the environmental factors in advance. Does the water tend to be warmer in the more shallow areas? Does the channel have any affect? Can undertow actually happen in a small, fresh-water lake? Has anyone ever gotten tangled in seaweed or crashed into a tree stump? (Should I carry a knife and harpoon? hahaha)
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 06-16-2010
Lawrence Lawrence is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: London, UK
Posts: 804
Lawrence
Default

Good questions. I also intend trying lake swimming when I can find a lake that's warm enough, and would be interested in any pointers people are able to offer.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 06-16-2010
shuumai shuumai is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: New Jersey, USA
Posts: 1,077
shuumai
Send a message via Skype™ to shuumai
Red face

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lawrence View Post
Good questions. I also intend trying lake swimming when I can find a lake that's warm enough, and would be interested in any pointers people are able to offer.
The thing that prompted the questions was stopping by a lake and feeling how warm the water was. But that was water that was only a few inches deep. I used to play and raft in that lake before I could swim. I just don't know what to expect when going horizontal through the water.

Oh, there is also concern about the mud on the bottom. I know that when the lake is drained it's very possible to sink in the mud and lose a boot! So some areas might not be as safe as others. I guess it would be best to land where people usually play.

Last edited by shuumai : 06-16-2010 at 05:14 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 06-16-2010
KatieK KatieK is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Scottsdale, AZ, USA
Posts: 295
KatieK
Default

This is my first summer doing any serious lake swimming. I've been trying to go about once a week. These are a few of my newbie observations:
1.) A lake will have hot and cold spots. The first time I swam thru a cold spot a few hundred yards from shore, my first thought was, "Oh, no, what am I doing?!?" After a split second, I felt comfortable again.
2.) I don't notice any currents in the man-made lakes where I swim, but the wind generates a surprising amount of chop. I still feel surprised when the wind kicks up; my first thought is, "Oh, no, is there a boat that I missed?!?" It's really, really fun swimming in choppy water, but it wears me out.
3.) No push-off means I feel like I'm working harder the whole time. In the pool, I feel like can pretty much swim forever if I keep to a relaxed pace. That moment of glide/rest every 25 yards is enough to recharge me. In the lake, I definitely have an upper limit of how long I can go; probably about two miles right now.
4.) Plant life close to the shore can be a little treacherous. Here in Arizona, it's already HOT, so the plants are growing like crazy. This weekend, I had to swim thru reeds in water that was over 10' deep. I had to float on my back and kick gently to get thru them. Freestlye or breaststroke basically just wrapped me up in plant life--reminded me of Devil's Snag in Harry Potter.

Thanks to buoyancy, I don't think you're going to sink in the mud.

Swim with a buddy, wear a bright cap, and stick to no wake zones.

Also, I found this great tool for plotting distances on Google Maps; great for figuring out how far you swam (it'll be less than you thought). http://maps.google.com/gadgets/direc...a_distance.xml

Have fun and let us know how it goes.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 06-16-2010
westyswoods westyswoods is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Rio, Wisconsin
Posts: 564
westyswoods
Default

Great Questions,

I find lake swimming vastly different than pool swimming. This summer I have committed to doing as much OW swimming as possible and have restricted my pool swimming to drills. Some of my observations are different than Katie K's.

You will find warm and cool spots in the lakes.

There can be current in what some call fresh water lakes. Be aware of damns and rivers entering and exiting what may be considered lakes.

When swimming in large lakes there can be rip currents know how to get out of one if caught in it. This can happen in the Great Lakes.

I find OW swimming easier than pool and do not get as tired. It is much easier to find a rhythm in OW.

Any distance in OW will surely show which side is strong or weak as you will have a tendency to travel left or right, especially when you start to tire.

I am working on getting my head around time in OW vs pool. The other day I swam one mile in OW it just seemed like it took me forever. At about 1/2 mile I though am I ever going to get done. This was strictly a head thing as physically I felt fine. I finished the mile at about 35 minutes which I was very happy with. It just felt like one hour and 35 minutes.

Weeds do present a problem, be careful and relax panic will get you in trouble.

If you can find a lake with nonmotorized regulations it is great.

Wear a bright cap, use a pilot or guide when swimming in OW and water you can not stand in.

In total I am enjoying my OW swimming much more than pool time and have to attribute it to TI. Thanks to all for your words of wisdom and encouragement on this forum.


Be Well & Swim Silent
Westy
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 06-16-2010
naj naj is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 624
naj
Default Welcome to OW Swimming!

Quote:
Originally Posted by westyswoods View Post
Great Questions,

I find lake swimming vastly different than pool swimming. This summer I have committed to doing as much OW swimming as possible and have restricted my pool swimming to drills. Some of my observations are different than Katie K's.

You will find warm and cool spots in the lakes.

There can be current in what some call fresh water lakes. Be aware of damns and rivers entering and exiting what may be considered lakes.

When swimming in large lakes there can be rip currents know how to get out of one if caught in it. This can happen in the Great Lakes.

I find OW swimming easier than pool and do not get as tired. It is much easier to find a rhythm in OW.

Any distance in OW will surely show which side is strong or weak as you will have a tendency to travel left or right, especially when you start to tire.

I am working on getting my head around time in OW vs pool. The other day I swam one mile in OW it just seemed like it took me forever. At about 1/2 mile I though am I ever going to get done. This was strictly a head thing as physically I felt fine. I finished the mile at about 35 minutes which I was very happy with. It just felt like one hour and 35 minutes.

Weeds do present a problem, be careful and relax panic will get you in trouble.

If you can find a lake with nonmotorized regulations it is great.

Wear a bright cap, use a pilot or guide when swimming in OW and water you can not stand in.

In total I am enjoying my OW swimming much more than pool time and have to attribute it to TI. Thanks to all for your words of wisdom and encouragement on this forum.


Be Well & Swim Silent
Westy
First off, welcome to ow swimming newbies and I hope you keep at it! Some day I'll get you in the ocean and then the real fun begins

For me fresh water and the pool are very similar. For one, you can see a lot further than in fresh than say in an estuary or the ocean (at least non-tropic seas). You have to work at buoyancy in fresh just like the pool so if your not that good at treading water swim closer to shore.

The reason why there can be chop in fresh water is because of the wind and this might also affect the water temp just like the sun would. Fresh water is five degrees cooler than salt water, but if you have nothing to go by then it won't make much difference to you. For me, I can tell right away and prefer the ocean and the challenges it brings.

Swim with a buddy and possible kayak if you know of someone. Baring that swim close to shore again. Relaxing and finding a rhythm in ow is crucial as the more you stop and start the more tired and cold you become.

What Westy spoke of regarding steering left or right when your fatigued is also due to where your hand is spearing when your not being mindful. Be aware to keep those arms outside the shoulder line and you'll go straight. I know this because I swim with and against current and can do so for long stretches with good form and no sighting and go straight. Just be relaxed and follow your TI skills and you'll be fine.

If your in the water longer than an hour try and feed at least once. You'll have to see what agrees with your stomach but it will give you the energy you need.

If you do have the opportunity to have a kayak with you do what he/she says, DON'T ARGUE!!!! Too many times I've had swimmers tell me they know where they're going and then they end up way off course, so respect that they are there to make your swim comfortable, achievable and fun.

Lastly, just have fun Shuumai ow is the greatest way to swim in my opinion. Its more challenging and you don't have to worry about flip turns and no room to swim without bumping into someone in the next lane. I'll bet we'll see you talking about an ocean swim before next year is out just you wait!!!

Keep Swimming!
Naji
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 06-16-2010
westyswoods westyswoods is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Rio, Wisconsin
Posts: 564
westyswoods
Default

Thanks for the valuable information. Oh how true about DON"T ARGUE''' A couple of weeks ago I was piloting a woman across a lake and tried to keep her on course. She insisted that she was swimming straight and was veering so left I positioned the canoe
on her left side and let her swim into it. I got this look of why did you run into me, p od of coarse. Long story short just, let her go and instead of 1 mile must have been 11/2 when done. She is a dear friend, we talked about it post swim. Thanks again Naji
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 06-16-2010
KatieK KatieK is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Scottsdale, AZ, USA
Posts: 295
KatieK
Default

Great tips Naj and Westywoods! A couple more things I thought of:
1.) Practice sighting in the pool before you go out on the lake.
2.) If you get tired or anxious, float on your back; it uses less energy than treading water, plus it has a calming effect (for me, anyway)
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 06-20-2010
shuumai shuumai is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: New Jersey, USA
Posts: 1,077
shuumai
Send a message via Skype™ to shuumai
Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by KatieK View Post
This is my first summer doing any serious lake swimming. I've been trying to go about once a week. These are a few of my newbie observations:
1.) A lake will have hot and cold spots. The first time I swam thru a cold spot a few hundred yards from shore, my first thought was, "Oh, no, what am I doing?!?" After a split second, I felt comfortable again.
2.) I don't notice any currents in the man-made lakes where I swim, but the wind generates a surprising amount of chop. I still feel surprised when the wind kicks up; my first thought is, "Oh, no, is there a boat that I missed?!?" It's really, really fun swimming in choppy water, but it wears me out.
3.) No push-off means I feel like I'm working harder the whole time. In the pool, I feel like can pretty much swim forever if I keep to a relaxed pace. That moment of glide/rest every 25 yards is enough to recharge me. In the lake, I definitely have an upper limit of how long I can go; probably about two miles right now.
4.) Plant life close to the shore can be a little treacherous. Here in Arizona, it's already HOT, so the plants are growing like crazy. This weekend, I had to swim thru reeds in water that was over 10' deep. I had to float on my back and kick gently to get thru them. Freestlye or breaststroke basically just wrapped me up in plant life--reminded me of Devil's Snag in Harry Potter.

Thanks to buoyancy, I don't think you're going to sink in the mud.

Swim with a buddy, wear a bright cap, and stick to no wake zones.

Also, I found this great tool for plotting distances on Google Maps; great for figuring out how far you swam (it'll be less than you thought). http://maps.google.com/gadgets/direc...a_distance.xml

Have fun and let us know how it goes.
Wow, great info. I didn't think of the cap since I don't wear one normally. The Google Map thing is great as well. I was wanting that exact feature.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 06-20-2010
shuumai shuumai is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: New Jersey, USA
Posts: 1,077
shuumai
Send a message via Skype™ to shuumai
Red face

Quote:
Originally Posted by naj View Post
I'll bet we'll see you talking about an ocean swim before next year is out just you wait!!!
Well, I thought I would go out last year. If my family goes to the shore, I might go out in the ocean. I'm just afraid of big fish and rip currents. heh

There is a song that goes, "Stick with the rivers and the lakes that you're used to." heh
Reply With Quote
Reply


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 02:15 PM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.