Rick’s tips for getting back in the ocean –brought to you by blueseventy

Open water swimming is a great way to get a long aerobic swim under your belt, it breaks the boredom of going up and down the pool. Your open water swimming techniques can vary from swimming in the pool so this is a great way to practice. Pool swimming can be a bit more finesse whereas open water swimming can be more agricultural due to the water conditions.

If the conditions are smooth and glassy obviously you will swim more like you would in the pool however with more chop swells and other swimmers you adjust your stroke accordingly. Open water swimming involves high arm recovery due to wearing a wetsuit and more exaggerated movements to accommodate the conditions, no event will ever be the same.

If you are swimming in choppy waters you will need to power up and shorten your stroke.

The question always pops up; How many open water swims should I do verses indoor pool swims? The answer will depend on how many times you currently swim. The ratio: If you are pool swimming 3 times per week then 1 open water swim would be suitable.

The pool is great for working on technique, form and your pacing.. Your swim sets should be based on timing, setting target times and achieving them. E.g. The State Harbour Crossing is 2.9k and if your target time is 1.07.57, then you need to be doing 400m in a time of 9 minutes and 22 seconds, a 100m time of 2.20, a 50m time of 1.10 and a 25m time of 35 seconds. With this information and the right training programme you can work towards achieving and setting new target times. You can do this by going on to www.racepace.me and work out your race time.

I remember my first surf race after coming from a pool background, there were 3 meter swells and had to resort to breaststroke all the way round the course – why not, it is about finishing safely after all.

Experience is something you get just after you realize you need it!

Sign up for your State NZ Ocean Swim Series event now and put those tips to good use!

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If you have any questions please email me at rick@rickwells.co.nz or feel free to come in and see me at The Olympic Pools and fitness centre Broadway, Newmarket. Contact phone: 09 529 0177