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  #1  
Old 09-06-2012
kentakirk kentakirk is offline
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Default Choppy Open Water Swim

I am facing what is forcast to be a choppy (3-5 ft wave) open water 5K swim this weekend in Lake Michigan. Any advice from veteran open water swimmers on how to help in coping with the waves?
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Old 09-07-2012
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CoachStuartMcDougal CoachStuartMcDougal is offline
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Keep your head down, stay low, tall body, hold that lead arm forward, streamline body - pierce through water just like in the pool. Time breathing between the chop. If chop is to your right - breath to your left; chop to the left - breath to your right. If swimming directly into chop, use secondary targets left and right to sight.

Sounds like fun to me! :-)

Good luck and enjoy!

Stuart
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Old 09-07-2012
naj naj is offline
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Great advice. I would also add to slow down your stroke and find your rhythm. It isn't hard to breathe if you have swells only, but add chop and you have a more challenging time to breathe. If it is both chop and swell, rotate a bit more to gett a breath. good luck and you should do fine.
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Old 09-07-2012
swim2Bfree swim2Bfree is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by naj View Post
I would also add to slow down your stroke
Is this your opinion, or something you learned from TI?

What is your reasoning for slowing down your stroke in choppy water?
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Old 09-07-2012
kentakirk kentakirk is offline
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Thanks for the advice. I will let you know how it goes.
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Old 09-07-2012
KatieK KatieK is offline
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Try to get in the water the day before. I assume the 5K you're referring to is Big Shoulders. If that's the case, it should be easy to find a group to go out with.

Also, get as familiar as you can with the course. Pay attention to big landmarks you can use for sighting. You may not be able to see buoys in the chop.

As always, the more you can relax, the better off you will be. Try smiling and making your recovery arm loose like spaghetti.
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Old 09-13-2012
kentakirk kentakirk is offline
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I am happy to report that I survived my 5K open water swim. As predicted the waves were between 3 and 4 feet and very choppy. It was a triangular course with bad chop on two legs and a helping wind on the third. What a treat to ride the waves into shore on the home leg! All of the advice was spot on.

1. Sighting was a problem due to the height of the waves and I often had to look two or three times to catch sight of the bouy between waves. We had skyscrapers to sight off of for two of the legs.

2. I decreased my stroke rate and found that I had less wave disruption in my rhythm and stroke.

3. I lengthened my body and stroke and it seemed to make it easier to cut through the waves.

I did enjoy the challenge of the rougher conditions and had a greater sense of accomplishment at the end of the swim compared to previous years.
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Old 11-16-2012
BrentonFord BrentonFord is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kentakirk View Post
I am facing what is forcast to be a choppy (3-5 ft wave) open water 5K swim this weekend in Lake Michigan. Any advice from veteran open water swimmers on how to help in coping with the waves?
Two keys to dealing with chop are staying relaxed and rotating a bit more to get your breath in.
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