Why your open water swim training should be more than just doing laps

It’s a habit. Turn up to Pugneys and other open water swim venues, leap in and swim. We see it every session. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this if your goal is simply to enjoy open water swimming. If your goal is to race triathlon and you are training for competitions then make the most of every training opportunity.
Ask: What is my race goal?
Identify the demands of the OWS element. For an Ironman you need OWS efficiency. Excellent swim technique, perfect sighting and the ability to swim in crowds amongst others. For all each race distances the same applies except for shorter distances it’s more frantic.
Ask: What is the focus of my training swim today?
Sighting, ability to adapt to environmental conditions, pacing, fast starts and the list goes on. Always train with a technique focus. Make a plan for the session or use the 9 OWS plans we have created.
Ask: Have I warmed up?
Just leaping off the jetty and swimming energetically will not be a suitable warm up routine for a race. Race organisers leave little or no opportunity to warm up for your swim. You normally start cold and underperform for the first 5 – 8 minutes. This means your warm up will need to be land based. Develop a good warm up routine for all your training sessions.
Ask: How’s it going?
Each leg of the swim or each lap check in on yourself. How do you feel? How well am I swimming / sighting/ breathing? How’s my pace? What did I set out to practice today?
Ask: How quickly can I get my wetsuit off?
Every swim, leave the water and practice getting out of your wetsuit. Please check you have a costume on underneath otherwise the spotters will have tweeted what they’ve seen before you even make the changing rooms.
Ask: Did I achieve my focus?
Has this session made you a better OW Swimmer? What do you need to practice next time? Do I need some help or some feedback?
Ask: How much fun was that?
Always answer. It was super brilliant fun. Can’t wait till next time…