Many triathlete swimmers I speak with are now getting more variety in their swim training by coupling aspects of distance, interval based and technique into their program. While this is a very positive way to swim train there is still an important aspect that most programs are missing….(Pool Open Water training POW)
Let’s not forget that most competitions are held in open water where it’s “every man or woman for themselves” with constant starting and stopping due to all the arms and legs thrashing about jockeying for position. Let’s also not forget that “generally” there is no line at the bottom of the lake to navigate with. So while busy “swim cage fighting” you also need to know where you’re going! It takes both physical and mental energy to deal with this drastic change from your friendly pool workouts. On race day have you really prepared yourself for the environment you will contend with? Have you ever tried swimming with a pair of goggles with a dab of petroleum jelly to impair your vision and realize the mental anguish this can cause? Have you ever had your goggles kicked off and needed to tread water using only your legs, while you fumble with your hands putting the goggles back on?
Here’s just a start to get you on the right track with a little bit of fun. The drill I call Sight, Tumble and Go. You can do this while training intervals and distance, but be prepared….it’s not easy. My Ellicott City Group I swim with does repeat 100 yards on a 1:40 pace broken down for each 25 yards as:
Swim half length ……sight (lift your head and focus on a particular object…we will talk about technique later)…immediately do a 360 degree roll (which will stop you in your tracks) and finish the length.
With practice, adopting POW training will make you a more effective Triathlete.