General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Open water w/ wetsuit vs pool w/o wetsuit pace Rss Feed  
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2013-08-05 9:54 AM


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Subject: Open water w/ wetsuit vs pool w/o wetsuit pace
So when i do my training sessions in the pool, i swim about a 1:32/100 pace. i just started doing about 1 session a week in open water w/ a wetsuit and the past few open water sessions (and a 2 mile swim only race yesterday), i swam about a 1:44/100 pace. these paces have been taken from my garmin. i know the open water is ocean swimming so i will lose some time due to slight currents, swell, etc...but i have done a few swims in a protected bay off the ocean and averaged the same OW pace. my question is, is this sound about average to lose this much pace? i didn't think there would be that big of a difference. will my pace increase if i swim in my wetsuit more to get more acclimated to it again? i know swimming the same pace in a pool and OW will never be the same due to so many differences between the two and also wetsuit vs non are never going to be the same either but i didn't expect this much of a change. just trying to see the difference in pace time that others have noticed between the two to see if i am maybe doing something that is affecting my pace.


2013-08-05 10:39 AM
in reply to: weiky

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Subject: RE: Open water w/ wetsuit vs pool w/o wetsuit pace
In my experience, I'm faster in OWS than in the pool, and it's entirely the wetsuit. I find currents for the most part negate each other or help, meaning whatever is against you swimming into it will be for you coming back, or the current is with you the whole time. Sighting is HUGE, you can lose minutes off your time from swimming off course. Personally it took me a while to get into the habit of sighting every 6 or so strokes. I used to just sight off the body to my left or right as I breathed, but I got burned one too many times by that guy not holding a good line, probably because he was doing the same thing! My best splits are always when I go out with the mentality that everyone is sighting wrong and I'm right. It's not too far off from reality unless you're the FOP (which I'm not...yet! haha!).

I doubt you're losing anything with the wetsuit, that's counter to what most folks experience. Better swimmers experience less help from a wetsuit, but there's still *some* speed pickup. More novice swimmers receive a much bigger boost in speed.
2013-08-05 11:19 AM
in reply to: fisherman76

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Subject: RE: Open water w/ wetsuit vs pool w/o wetsuit pace
Take a tape measure to your pool and measure it, it's probably short! Pools are not as accurate as people think they are. When I was a competitive swimmer we used to refer to them as fast pools.

Also were you swimming the same distance inside as you were outside?

Having a 1:30/100 pace for 400 yards is not the same as having a 1:30/100 pace for 1.2 miles.
2013-08-05 11:21 AM
in reply to: fisherman76


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Subject: RE: Open water w/ wetsuit vs pool w/o wetsuit pace
thanks, i thought the wetsuit would help some and it seems to be hindering me, that i why i posted. I site about every 6-10 strokes and can usually swim and pretty straight line so that is not a worry. i have lost about 15lbs and now occasionally feel some cold water down my neck, etc...so i am wondering if my wetsuit to is too big now....
2013-08-05 11:40 AM
in reply to: weiky

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Subject: RE: Open water w/ wetsuit vs pool w/o wetsuit pace
I swam 1:53 for my 200 repeats a few weeks ago and averaged 1:53 (both per my Garmin) for the 1500 swim at my Tri this weekend. That's never happened before, but it was amusing considering the topic.

A couple of things to remember though:

1. A wetsuit helps most with poor body position, so if your body position in the pool is reasonable (at 1:30/100 it can't be too bad), the wetsuit will be less helpful.
2. In a pool - particularly a short pool - you'll have a push off the wall that gives you a pretty good jump every 25-50 yards. That speeds up your time relative to OWS.

So the answer, as always, is it depends.

John
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