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  #1  
Old 09-18-2017
Spartan420
 
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Default How to Rest in Open Water?

I started TI back in June. Prior to that, I literally couldnt swim (40 years old). It was rough in the beginning. I run half marathons like every other weekend, but couldnt get 25 yards down the pool without being competently gassed and a lot heavier from all the water I inhaled.

Fast forward to today. I swim 2000-2500 yards per session three times a week. I can swim those freestyle with a couple of 2 breathe rests. My average pace is 2:02 per 100 yards.

Now it is time for my 1st open water swim in a local Tri. The distance is 800 yards. That is just 200 more than my warmups :)

But, I am still completely freaked out. I just need to know one thing. How can I rest in the open water swim if I need a break? If I had an answer to that question, my mind would be a lot more at ease.
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Old 09-18-2017
sclim sclim is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spartan420 View Post
I started TI back in June. Prior to that, I literally couldnt swim (40 years old). It was rough in the beginning. I run half marathons like every other weekend, but couldnt get 25 yards down the pool without being competently gassed and a lot heavier from all the water I inhaled.

Fast forward to today. I swim 2000-2500 yards per session three times a week. I can swim those freestyle with a couple of 2 breathe rests. My average pace is 2:02 per 100 yards.

Now it is time for my 1st open water swim in a local Tri. The distance is 800 yards. That is just 200 more than my warmups :)

But, I am still completely freaked out. I just need to know one thing. How can I rest in the open water swim if I need a break? If I had an answer to that question, my mind would be a lot more at ease.
Similar story here. Experienced competitive runner, horrible swimmer till took TI starting age 64. Now 69, not great swimmer but no longer fearful in water. Have completed 4 Half IronMan races, and done 2 IM swims (didn't finish whole race). I presume you're not wearing wetsuit. If I wear a wetsuit I just don't sink, no matter how slow I swim. Without a wetsuit, have you tried to swim backstroke for an improvised break?
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  #3  
Old 09-18-2017
Spartan420
 
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The race will not be wetsuit legal. Water temps are high... 79 degrees.
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  #4  
Old 09-18-2017
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CoachStuartMcDougal CoachStuartMcDougal is offline
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Hi Spartan,

Create your own pool edge by just rolling on your back, lay head back, relax with head-spine aligned - and get the air you need. This is where your body is most buoyant and stable. I usually have swimmers practice "sweet spot" which is a left or right skate off of your back with gentle flutter to maintain forward movement. There are several videos out there on sweet-spot breathing that you can check out, then practice in the pool at your next session.

Stu
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Old 09-18-2017
Spartan420
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachStuartMcDougal View Post
Hi Spartan,

Create your own pool edge by just rolling on your back, lay head back, relax with head-spine aligned - and get the air you need. This is where your body is most buoyant and stable. I usually have swimmers practice "sweet spot" which is a left or right skate off of your back with gentle flutter to maintain forward movement. There are several videos out there on sweet-spot breathing that you can check out, then practice in the pool at your next session.

Stu
Thanks! I am a natural sinker. My coach even calls me a sinker. Any lossin forward momentum and sink straight to the bottom.

I do feel comfortable on my back, so I will try that and I am youtubing your suggestion above right now!
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Old 09-18-2017
novaswimmer novaswimmer is offline
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Originally Posted by Spartan420 View Post
Thanks! I am a natural sinker. My coach even calls me a sinker. Any lossin forward momentum and sink straight to the bottom.

I do feel comfortable on my back, so I will try that and I am youtubing your suggestion above right now!

Sinkers can have a hard time with 'sweet spot'.
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  #7  
Old 09-18-2017
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CoachStuartMcDougal CoachStuartMcDougal is offline
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Most males have low profile, hips sink easily - but all humans pivot about their lungs or center of buoyancy provided there's air in the lungs ;-) You can easily make the legs/hips light by being in correct position, if head lifts, whether off back or off stomach, hips will sink; some sink more and faster than others. Make sure to lay head back, head-spine-hips in alignment - hips will rise to the surface.

Here's a good video of sweet-spot, but this version is in torpedo (no arm in front) so swimmer can easily rotate from back to stomach. But whether off back or off stomach, swimmer is always on a skating edge: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ngW0hGPU8wM

Try the demo off your back, but extend low side arm in front of head. Keep lead arm on shoulder width track and extending low side arm at the same depth (or slightly lower) as shoulder. If lead arm drifts toward surface, hips will sink.

This "active balance" drill is also a very effective balance and position drill.

Stu
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  #8  
Old 10-12-2017
MarkMcCollum
 
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Great post.
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