17 Open-Water Swim Questions That You Should Probably Ask Your Swim Coach by Ben Greenfield
Posted Jun 13 2009 10:01pm
By now, you have probably realized that there is a pretty stark contrast
between swimming 25 yards, pushing off a wall, and swimming back...and
fighting your way through 1.5K or more in choppy lake water. This is
especially true if you like to follow the big black or blue line on the
bottom of the pool.
So who' s to blame? You? Or your pool-side coach/master' s swim
instructor/triathlon mentor for not teaching you a stroke that actually
works in the open water?
Maybe a little bit of both.
So here are "17 Open-Water Swim Questions That You Should Probably Ask Your
1. How much time do I lose per 100m by not pushing off the wall?
2. Why do my hip flexors get tired when I swim in the open water, and not in
3. Should my stroke count and arm turnover increase in the open water?
4. If so, by how many strokes per minute?
5. And if so, should I be using a swimming metronome?
6. Should my breathing mechanics be different in the open water?
7. Should I do the 2 Stroke R, Breathe, 1 Stroke R, Sight, Switch Sides
pattern that I see almost all the pros doing in triathlon swim video
8. If so, can you teach that to me?
9. Should I sight first, then breathe, or breathe first, then sight, and
does it matter?
10. How often should I sight?
11. Should I change my swim mechanics if I' m swimming downriver?
12. What about in a choppy lake vs. a choppy ocean with breakers?
13. In an ocean start, at what point should I stop running and start
14. Can I learn how to "porpoise", and will it make me faster?
15. How far away from the feet of the person in front of me can I be before
I lose the draft?
16. How hard should I work in the first 200 meters to catch a draft?
17. Will workouts like not pushing off the wall, swimming with my head out
of the water and stopping to turn 180 degrees when I' m halfway down the pool
actually make me a better open water swimmer?
18. YES. This is a bonus question: in how many open water swim races have
you, my coach, actually competed?