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Pool Swim vs OW
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How do times differ from the pool to OW for you guys? I flip turn in the pool, but I'm definitely not as effective as the swimmers. I find that the wetsuit pretty much takes away most of my problems but I don't know what to expect time wise this Saturday (70.3 Marbella). Will improved times per 100m in the pool normally transfer to improved times OW?

Education is important. Triathlon is importanter.
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Re: Pool Swim vs OW [Schnellinger] [ In reply to ]
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From my experience, the slowness of the turn followed by the push off tend to balance out. Even good swimmers who are not slowed by the turn are so good that their push off speed is not that far off their swim speed.

Where many lose time in OW is going off course / swimming farther than needed. In the pool, we follow the lines and lane lines and don't add yards to our swim. Be more preoccupied with staying on course or staying on the feet of someone on course. Your times could be faster/slower than pool times based on water flow or competition slowing or speeding up your swim.

As much as possible swim some OW so you get some visual orientation while getting used to the difference in time and space outdoors.

Indoor Triathlete - I thought I was right, until I realized I was wrong.
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Re: Pool Swim vs OW [Schnellinger] [ In reply to ]
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My experience has varied widely. I am uncomfortable swimming in a crowd. No amount of masters swimming is going to fix the way the nature of anonymous people racing is different from a group of people you practice with regularly. One swims over you with no care about doing so, the other group does not do this and if they did, the level of panic induced would still be different in a pool with edges, lane lines, or shallow enough to stand vs open water.

In other words, I find OW swim times highly variable based on kind of body of water, current situation (head on, side on, ocean, wind?), how the swim starts (mass, AG wave, or continuous stream), course marking (can buoys be seen in the glaring sun?), other (seaweed, water smells like oil / gasoline, water so shallow that participants take to walking, volunters which offer on-water course correction that is different from how course was described on land, eg wrt which side of buoys to be on).

My list is full of what should be rare or maybe just 1-off experiences but still, I've experienced them all and basically find that I can't predict how my swim should go without knowing more about the various possibilities above.

ETA: As poster #2 wrote, anything you can do to reduce the number of new features on race day: like grab a friend or group and get a swim in at the race venue or a similar body of water, is wise.

To breathe, to feel, to know I'm alive.
Last edited by: Tsunami: Apr 25, 19 4:51
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Re: Pool Swim vs OW [IT] [ In reply to ]
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IT wrote:
From my experience, the slowness of the turn followed by the push off tend to balance out. Even good swimmers who are not slowed by the turn are so good that their push off speed is not that far off their swim speed.

Where many lose time in OW is going off course / swimming farther than needed. In the pool, we follow the lines and lane lines and don't add yards to our swim. Be more preoccupied with staying on course or staying on the feet of someone on course. Your times could be faster/slower than pool times based on water flow or competition slowing or speeding up your swim.

As much as possible swim some OW so you get some visual orientation while getting used to the difference in time and space outdoors.

+1
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Re: Pool Swim vs OW [Schnellinger] [ In reply to ]
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As others say, OW can vary greatly.
But as a rule of thumb, i work on being about 10 mins faster in OW (WITH a wet suit), than the same distance in a 25m pool, for a full IM distance swim (65-70 mins depending on conditions etc )
I OPEN turn in pools. But have a strong push which negates most of the turn losses vs tumble turns.

So 4-5 mins saving on a half.

I'm fairly confident the speed improvement for me is from using the wetsuit rather than
anything to do with the pool itself or turns.
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Re: Pool Swim vs OW [IT] [ In reply to ]
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No guessing is necessary here.

Swimmers compete in 50m and 25m pools. Comparing times and accounting for the extra turns indicates that a turn provides a .7 second per turn advantage.

Add learn to draft to the list of things to become better at for effective OWS.
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Re: Pool Swim vs OW [Schnellinger] [ In reply to ]
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Schnellinger wrote:
How do times differ from the pool to OW for you guys? I flip turn in the pool, but I'm definitely not as effective as the swimmers. I find that the wetsuit pretty much takes away most of my problems but I don't know what to expect time wise this Saturday (70.3 Marbella). Will improved times per 100m in the pool normally transfer to improved times OW?

Since no one is actually answering your question.... yes, but not quite as much due to the wetsuit. That's with the caveat that you may not actually see faster times due to varying conditions in OW swims. Your best gauge is really your placing out of the water, combined with your perception of how gassed you are getting into T1.

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Re: Pool Swim vs OW [IT] [ In reply to ]
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Fastest a swimmer ever goes in the water is coming off the starting blocks.
Second fastest a swimmer ever goes is coming off the wall with a well executed flip turn.

#swimmingmatters
Laugh hard. Run fast. Be kind.
The Doctor (#12)

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Re: Pool Swim vs OW [Schnellinger] [ In reply to ]
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Schnellinger wrote:
How do times differ from the pool to OW for you guys? I flip turn in the pool, but I'm definitely not as effective as the swimmers. I find that the wetsuit pretty much takes away most of my problems but I don't know what to expect time wise this Saturday (70.3 Marbella). Will improved times per 100m in the pool normally transfer to improved times OW?


To your first question, I assume 4 seconds per 100m faster than you would swim in open water if you have a good flip turn, especially over longer distances. The factors contributing to this are

a) flip turn - I assume about 1 sec/100m, depends on your turn speed
b) push off/rest - pushing off the wall is the fastest you will move in the pool assuming you have a decent streamline. You also get to rest your arms for a few seconds. Compare the number of strokes you take for 100m in open water versus in a pool, I guarantee you are taking at least 10-15% more strokes in open water, which fatigues you over time. Imagine that you could stop pedaling on your bike for 2-3 seconds every 15 seconds - that is the effect of a turn in the pool.

To your 2nd question - sure it will, if all else stays the same.

Strava
1999 LC Jr Nats 200m Fly Champion
Last edited by: sch340: Apr 25, 19 6:52
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Re: Pool Swim vs OW [JasoninHalifax] [ In reply to ]
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Definitely agree with the remark about placing out of the water. But I have been working on not dropping my elbow over the winter. This has resulted in a bit faster times in the pool. I can't see why this would be limited by a wetsuit. Or is it normally the case that the increased buoyancy of the wetsuit remedies problems like that too?

And how fast do swimmers with or without Buttocks go on a half?

Education is important. Triathlon is importanter.
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Re: Pool Swim vs OW [Schnellinger] [ In reply to ]
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I was thinking more along the lines of body position, which is usually the biggest problem that I see in the pool.

Swimmers with buttocks have done 29+ minutes in a 70.3 (non-wetsuit freshwater swim) at Muncie. 17th OA out of the water, 2nd AG, and fresh as a daisy getting on the bike. I think that is the primary goal in the swim in a 70.3 or longer, to swim reasonably quickly without destroying your race in the first half hour.

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Last edited by: JasoninHalifax: Apr 25, 19 7:40
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Re: Pool Swim vs OW [Schnellinger] [ In reply to ]
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I do open turns with a moderate push-off in the pool, and I am a solid MOP swimmer. When I swim my same workouts in the pool with my wetsuit, I am about 10 seconds/100yd faster. Then, when I swim open water, depending on the swim conditions, I usually give up about half of my wetsuit advantage relative to the pool, or around 5 sec/100yd faster in an OWS wetsuit swim than non-wetsuit pool swim.
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Re: Pool Swim vs OW [Schnellinger] [ In reply to ]
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When I took up the sport, in the days when I was a 1:30 100m pool swimmer (reps) I swam 1:40 in IM When I slowed to 1:40 I went 1:50, now I'm 1:50 (god I'm old) 1 go 2:00.

So my guess....you will lose 10 seconds per 100

If you want a good simulation of what a wetsuit does for you, buy a simsuit (Roka and others) and you can swim, wetsuit style in a pool without overheating.
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Re: Pool Swim vs OW [sch340] [ In reply to ]
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Imagine that you could stop pedaling on your bike for 2-3 seconds every 15 seconds - that is the effect of a turn in the pool. //

Actually, it is nothing like this, quite the opposite. Flip turning in swimming is the most anaerobic you will be during a pool race or training. If you were to soft pedal on the bike for 3 seconds, while holding your breath, and doing a squat, and then a couple leg raises during all that, then it might be the same thing. Doing a flip turn is the opposite of resting. Yes, your arms get a break, but you legs go into hyperdrive, you tax your cardio while holding your breath, which is way more taxing than just keeping your arm stroke going at an even pace, like in OW swimming..
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Re: Pool Swim vs OW [Tsunami] [ In reply to ]
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Tsunami wrote:
My experience has varied widely. I am uncomfortable swimming in a crowd. No amount of masters swimming is going to fix the way the nature of anonymous people racing is different from a group of people you practice with regularly. One swims over you with no care about doing so, the other group does not do this and if they did, the level of panic induced would still be different in a pool with edges, lane lines, or shallow enough to stand vs open water.

In other words, I find OW swim times highly variable based on kind of body of water, current situation (head on, side on, ocean, wind?), how the swim starts (mass, AG wave, or continuous stream), course marking (can buoys be seen in the glaring sun?), other (seaweed, water smells like oil / gasoline, water so shallow that participants take to walking, volunters which offer on-water course correction that is different from how course was described on land, eg wrt which side of buoys to be on).

My list is full of what should be rare or maybe just 1-off experiences but still, I've experienced them all and basically find that I can't predict how my swim should go without knowing more about the various possibilities above.

ETA: As poster #2 wrote, anything you can do to reduce the number of new features on race day: like grab a friend or group and get a swim in at the race venue or a similar body of water, is wise.
Absolutely this.
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Re: Pool Swim vs OW [monty] [ In reply to ]
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monty wrote:
Imagine that you could stop pedaling on your bike for 2-3 seconds every 15 seconds - that is the effect of a turn in the pool. //

Actually, it is nothing like this, quite the opposite. Flip turning in swimming is the most anaerobic you will be during a pool race or training. If you were to soft pedal on the bike for 3 seconds, while holding your breath, and doing a squat, and then a couple leg raises during all that, then it might be the same thing. Doing a flip turn is the opposite of resting. Yes, your arms get a break, but you legs go into hyperdrive, you tax your cardio while holding your breath, which is way more taxing than just keeping your arm stroke going at an even pace, like in OW swimming..


Er... no, this is wrong, sorry. Holding your breath for 3 seconds is not metabolically more difficult than taking an extra few hard strokes when there is no wall there. Nor is pushing of the wall even remotely similar to doing a squat, since there is no gravity working against you. It is a light pushoff that is the exact opposite of "hyperdrive". See below.

https://www.swimmingscience.net/...ort-course-swimming/

"The extra turns in short-course swimming have a direct effect on swimming stroke and metabolic economy. Long course swimming requires higher metabolic activity while stroke length is decreased. The rests for cyclic arm and shoulder activity afforded by the extra 25 m pool turns allows some recovery in energy capacity."

Strava
1999 LC Jr Nats 200m Fly Champion
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Re: Pool Swim vs OW [sch340] [ In reply to ]
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I will leave it to all the swimmers here to tell you whether doing proper flip turns is metabolically harder than just swimming. I read that paper and I have several issues with their conclusions, especially this one:

"the time convergences between SCM and LCM in distance events may suggest more room for improvement in underwater performances in mid distance and distance races. In shorter events, the difference between SCM and LCM may reflect the modern focus on underwater training, as many coaches and swimmers have rightly regarded turns and underwaters as separate events unto themselves".

Underwater turns have been around for over 20+ years now, and have been perfected by virtually every top swimmer in competition. Do you really think that all the 800/1500 swimmers just did not notice this going on, and their coaches have been keeping these turns a secret from them? There is no doubt in my mind, that the metabolic cost of these turns is just too prohibitive for the long distance events, and net times slow down if you pay that cost off the walls. That is why "NO ONE" does them in these races, not because they have not tried. You can talk about arms getting tired, or legs, but overall in a distance event, it is your basic fitness and ability to maintain an on the top of the water pace that gets you to the finish line as quickly as possible. These guys suggestion that it is just a coaching or training oversight, that they do not take advantage of the new style turns, well it is just ignorant of what actually is going on..
Last edited by: monty: Apr 25, 19 10:10
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Re: Pool Swim vs OW [monty] [ In reply to ]
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Well, I was an olympic-trials level 400 freestyler (and almost in the 1500) and can tell you that a long course 400m freestyle requires a greater level of fitness than a short course 400m freestyle. Or putting it another way, you can maintain a greater level of relative effort on top of the water while swimming the short course version of the event.

My argument addresses the OPs question of whether a flip turn and simple push-off is faster (either by itself, or by allowing for more rest) than swimming through it would take in open water, which isn't the same thing as considering dolphin kicking 15m off every wall, which would eventually lead to oxygen debt in longer events. In a typical distance event, after pushing off, you get 5m where you expend virtually no energy in a streamline position for only a few seconds, which allows for greater recovery (and is faster) than swimming that same distance on top of the water.

Strava
1999 LC Jr Nats 200m Fly Champion
Last edited by: sch340: Apr 25, 19 10:16
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Re: Pool Swim vs OW [Schnellinger] [ In reply to ]
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Wow, the responses on this thread are all over the place.

My experience is that I am always faster with a wetsuit in open water than I am in a pool. My 1,000 yard time trial pace in the pool right now is 1:27 per 100 yards. My international distance swim split is typically around 10 seconds per 100 faster than my 1,000 yard time trial pace in the pool.

As some posters have said, the absolute most important thing is to sight properly and stay on course. I am always shocked about how many people follow a horribly bad line and end up swimming much longer than they need. Do not blindly follow the people around you; make sure you know where you are heading!

Hope that helps.
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Re: Pool Swim vs OW [biggerrig] [ In reply to ]
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I love when threads go off-topic. Especially when people feel strongly about something :D

My experience is the same as yours, but it looks like others have different experiences. Will try to stay out of the washing machine but on straight lines from buoy to buoy.

Education is important. Triathlon is importanter.
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Re: Pool Swim vs OW [Schnellinger] [ In reply to ]
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Schnellinger wrote:
How do times differ from the pool to OW for you guys? I flip turn in the pool, but I'm definitely not as effective as the swimmers. I find that the wetsuit pretty much takes away most of my problems but I don't know what to expect time wise this Saturday (70.3 Marbella). Will improved times per 100m in the pool normally transfer to improved times OW?

I have always found it reasonably hard to compare pool times to open water times - too many variables in open water where I live.
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Re: Pool Swim vs OW [exxxviii] [ In reply to ]
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exxxviii wrote:
I do open turns with a moderate push-off in the pool, and I am a solid MOP swimmer. When I swim my same workouts in the pool with my wetsuit, I am about 10 seconds/100yd faster. Then, when I swim open water, depending on the swim conditions, I usually give up about half of my wetsuit advantage relative to the pool, or around 5 sec/100yd faster in an OWS wetsuit swim than non-wetsuit pool swim.

This is exactly my experience.
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Re: Pool Swim vs OW [Schnellinger] [ In reply to ]
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I have literally no idea. It's really difficult to know the precise distance of the swim portion of events to start with. I tend to judge my swimming performance by whether I did a good job of swimming straight and drafting off the right feet.

That said, yes, for sure, swimming better /100m times in the pool translates to faster open water unless all that time was saved just by learning how to do better flip turns.

Also, my pool is usually set up in 12 scy lanes, but occasionally in 6 lcm lanes. I am significantly slower in lcm than scy /100, more than the 10% difference in length. more like 20% slower. Others don't see nearly the drop off. So any translation is really personal to your strengths and weaknesses as a swimmer. Just like how you can get a lot more out of a wetsuit if you have a hard time keeping your legs up swimming.
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Re: Pool Swim vs OW [Schnellinger] [ In reply to ]
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One thing to remember, that I often find most triathletes don't know regardless of how educated they are, is that sprint and Olympic Distance events are measured in meters. Period. They compete and then complain that the course is long. Regardless of how poorly they sighted and swam off course, their 750 and 1500 yard time will not be faster than their meter time. People just don't understand that the difference is enough to notice 2 to 4 lengths more in the pool.

Doug Marocco USAT #1039 I have been doing this sport for a while!
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Re: Pool Swim vs OW [PT More] [ In reply to ]
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that I often find most triathletes don't know regardless of how educated they are, is that sprint and Olympic Distance events are measured in meters. Period. They compete and then complain that the course is long. Regardless of how poorly they sighted and swam off course, their 750 and 1500 yard time will not be faster than their meter time//

I can't speak for most triathletes, but all the ones I know have a good working knowledge of the difference between SCY/SCM/LCM and open water. It is obvious that a lot of folks dont take into consideration the actual distances on OW courses, but with the advent of measuring devices, they can finally get some good comparisons of apples to apples.


And triathlon races are measured all over the place, 750 yards or meters, 1500 yards or meters, 1.2 mile, 2.4 mile, etc. In this country at least(and wherever WTC has races) it is metric and miles...But perhaps you have a different crowd around you...(-;
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