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2014-08-06 4:11 AM

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Subject: First full distance
After almost six years of racing both road races and triathlons I took the plunge and am doing the HITS Full course in just under two weeks. I stuck with my training plan the best I could and up to a few days ago was feeling confident. Due to cold weather and living almost 30 min from any open water all my training has been in a pool. Finally got into a lake and quickly remembered how much harder open water swimming seems to be than pool swimming. Anyone else ever feel like this? Got though all of 30 min of swimming and I was toast! How the heck am I suppose to swim 2.4 miles in 10 days if I have to fight for 30 min in a lake? Now I'm even more of a bundle of nerves than before. I've always been a slow swimmer despite following all the drills and tips I could find from every source I managed to glean from the internet, books, and talking to people. Normally in the pool I can clear a 2:10/100 meter on a regular basis. Please tell me there is someone here who is a slow swimmer too and has managed to finish the swim on time!


2014-08-06 6:51 AM
in reply to: Hubbie

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Subject: RE: First full distance

I may not be as slow as you're posted 2:10/100m.  

Typical IM races have a 2:20 (140 minutes) swim cutoff for the 3800 m swim which works out to a pace of 3:41/100.  Yes, a few people come out right at the cutoff.  

You won't improve your swim fitness over the next 10 days, so work on the mental aspects of finishing the swim.  

Picture yourself coming out of the water after swimming 3.8 km.  
Picture yourself gliding smoothly stroke-stroke-stroke just like you do in the pool.  

As for race strategy, try to keep at least one person on either side of you (yes, you may all 3 swim off course).  Let the crowd start and get ahead of you then calmly start swimming your race.  They don't need to be close to you, but close enough that you are likely to see them when you turn to breathe.  

2014-08-06 7:57 AM
in reply to: Hubbie

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Subject: RE: First full distance
I dont think you will have any trouble finishing the swim at all. Mental training and visualization starting today is what will get you through. Spend 10-15 minutes every day seeing yourself starting the swim , cruising at your pool pace, then finishing with energy to spare. I am not much faster than you but finished IMLP with np problem. The swim was finished in my head before I got in. Stuff always happens in a long swim so when it does just regroup and get back into your normal groove. Just think about the next stroke, not how far you have left to go..good luck in the race
2014-08-06 9:21 AM
in reply to: Hubbie

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Subject: RE: First full distance
on a good day, I do a 2:21 100 meter in the pool. I have finished two full ironmans. the key is just keep moving. find your pace and stick to it and keep moving forward. it is the constant stopping that gets you to the DQ list.
2014-08-06 12:14 PM
in reply to: sheesleeva

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Subject: RE: First full distance

It might be more of a pacing issue than a fitness issue.  Sometimes it can be hard to gauge your exertion level in open water.  For me, I tend to swim a little harder in open water because I do not have as immediate of feedback on my speed/time.  I always feel like I am going slower than I really am and will push it harder.  It's important to find a very relaxed, comfortable pace for longer distance swims.   I try to focus more on good form and not worry about speed/time.  Sometimes that's easier said than done.  You are far enough out from your race to give it another go.  Take it down another notch and see how that goes.  You should be just fine when you find your groove. 

2014-08-06 2:57 PM
in reply to: popsracer

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Subject: RE: First full distance
You should be alright. Try to get in a few more short OWS. On race day, just pick a comfortable pace and keep moving. Fall back to a comfort stroke (breaststroke or whatever) if you start feeling too anxious. You can even catch your breath at a paddle board if you need to. But just keep moving and you should be ok. I swim only slightly faster than you and have completed 5 IMs.


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