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Training, Tri

Open Water Weekly

Despite my swimming background, I really dislike the swim leg of triathlon. I have a hard time dragging my butt to the pool, and when it comes to a race my performance is generally mediocre at best.

The solution to my swimming rut?

Open Water Happy Hour at National Harbor.

Wave One, the DC-area open water group, runs an hour-long swim every Thursday that is open to anyone who wants to attend. The fee is $25 per week, and the swims are fully supported with kayakers/lifeguards and coaching, if you want it. I’ve done workouts with Tammy and Denis, the directors, at Wilson and Tammy was doing pace work with anyone who wanted the instruction.

They set up a 200-ish meter square with buoys inside the marina where there’s no traffic or wake, which makes for really smooth water with easy sighting. And without the hysteria of a mass start at a race, you can get comfortable with turning, sighting and keeping your stroke steady.

This is great news for me, as one of my key challenges is not the swim itself but staying smooth for the full distance. I never panic about the water, the crowds or the waves, but my stroke tends to fall apart a bit when I get tired and I’m easily frustrated when this happens. Ditto when sighting is bad and I feel like I’m working harder than I need to in order to stay on track and move forward.

So — I’m going to be looking to get as much open water practice as possible because swimming a pool with lane lines and clear views is not the same thing as a lake or river. This is generally hard to do on weekdays because any real open water is an hour away (you can’t just jump in the Potomac, nor would you want to), but now I can substitute one of my pool workouts each week with the Wave One swim. Simulating tri conditions will motivate me to swim in a way Wilson never can. I’ll be well-prepared for Musselman and Wisconsin and actually enjoy the training along the way.

Anyone want to join in? I can promise it’s worth every penny of the $25 you spend. And there are plenty of post-swim food/beverage options steps away from the marina…

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Discussion

14 thoughts on “Open Water Weekly

  1. You know that this water is actually the Potomac, right? It just creeps me out. Blech. But maybe one of these weeks.

    Posted by katie | June 24, 2011, 10:59 AM
    • I know. But the fact that it *looks* cleaner (no trash floating around) down there makes me feel better about it.

      The rivers at home are as mucky as the water here, so I’m pretty much immune to it.

      Posted by Emily | June 24, 2011, 11:02 AM
  2. I wish I could practice open water swimming where I live. DC is about 2 hours away without traffic. If I lived closer I would definitely try that out

    Posted by Shannon | June 24, 2011, 11:00 AM
  3. I wish I’d known about this earlier! I would have been all over it this week. Let’s see how tomorrow goes but I imagine I’m going to need lots and lots of practice so I’m in!

    Posted by amy | June 24, 2011, 11:16 AM
  4. I have been thinking about doing these swims…Tammy and Dennis are always trying to convince me to go. Maybe now that I see that you liked it, ill join!

    Chloe

    Posted by 321delish | June 24, 2011, 11:35 AM
  5. I totally want to go but usually have to coach Thursdays. Let me know when you are planning on going and I might be able to get a sub.

    P.S. Dennis made me to 100s holding like 1:20s once and it was painful

    Posted by Victoria (District Chocoholic) | June 24, 2011, 11:43 AM
  6. I’ll come. But I definitely told Amy about it weeks ago!

    Posted by lizard151 | June 24, 2011, 11:45 AM
  7. Next week we’re in recess, I would totally go! I NEED open water swimming practice like whoa.

    Posted by Emily | June 24, 2011, 11:56 AM
  8. I need these open water swim practices so bad! I wish I could join you but I have to coach gymnastics on thurs nights.

    Posted by sarah | June 24, 2011, 1:46 PM
  9. I always need open water practice. I just joined a team down here in NC that does them in the lake once a week. Hopefully this will help me to channel my inner fish.

    Posted by squirrelhead | June 27, 2011, 12:45 AM
  10. I could really use this practice, but I can’t get myself to pay $25 to swim when its FREE in a pool. Sigh.

    Posted by Beth | June 27, 2011, 10:11 AM
  11. Uhm WOW, how did I not know about this!! I always struggle to find good places to get in OW practices around here. So. Friggin. In. Do these go all summer? My foot is still on no swimming rest but I am hoping ot be back at it soon, and will definitely be in for a few OWSs. Also, my brother and husband will be doing their fist tris in August, so I’ll have to drag them along in a few weeks, too!:)

    Posted by Erin @ untilyoutri | June 28, 2011, 3:17 PM
  12. Oh, and PS my little condo pool does not have lap lanes or lines, so I totally count that as partial OWS practice;)

    Posted by Erin @ untilyoutri | June 28, 2011, 3:18 PM
  13. I swim in the Potomac. Trick is to go North of the city. Water is still brown but feels clean to me. I grew up in the area and have been using swimming holes in the area for years. No third arm yet.

    Posted by andredahlman | July 1, 2011, 5:57 PM

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