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Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Clocks And Clouds In Swimming And Triathlons
Waves, winds and water temperature are among the climatic elements that open water swimmers deal with in oceans, lakes and rivers. Swimming under bright sunny conditions or overcast gray skies, open water swimmers are affected constantly by dynamic environmental conditions.
So when we think of the differences between pool swimming and open water swimming, we think of the differences between clocks and clouds.
Similar to the rectangular uniformity of pool governed by controlled water temperatures and straight black lines and lane lines, clocks are neat, orderly mechanisms that are built to be repetitive over and over again. Pool swimmers are often fairly exact in their descriptions of their training or races, “The intervals were 1:10 per 100,” or “My time was 9:05 for the 800.”
Clouds, on the other hand, are irregular, unpredictable, and never the same. They change from second to second, are multi-layered, and are as dynamic as the water below. Slightly different in their approach from pool swimmers, open water swimmers are often more descriptive of their swims and less concerned with time. “The conditions were rough with lots of cold spot,” or “It got really bumpy towards the end.”
It is the triathletes who bridge the gap and meld both disciplines. They not only focus on the times they achieve of their swim legs like pool swimmers, but they also colorfully descriptive of their open water experience like their open water brethren. While many open water swimmers focus on the experience and conditions, and pool swimmers focus on their time, triathletes are often a combination of the two: "I did a 1:24.2 on my swim leg, 4th in my age group, 11 minutes behind the leader, about 38 seconds off my best, but I was able to negative split the swim by 45 seconds even if I dropped my gel pack and the course was choppy as can be with the wind. The currents pushed me laterally off-course as I got crushed around the turn buoys and missed that last wave coming into shore, but I came back after drafting off the secondary pack."
Clocks and clouds, pools and open water, both have their place in the swimming and triathlon communities.
Copyright © 2013 by Open Water Swimming
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Open Water Swimming Magazine
Open Water Swimming MagazineThe Open Water Swimming Magazine is the monthly magazine entirely focused on open water swimming heroes and heroines of every age, ability, and background. Published by the World Open Water Swimming Association, the Open Water Swimming Magazine is a free benefit to WOWSA members.
WOWSA Member Benefits include 12 issues of the Open Water Swimming Magazine, the annual 276-page Open Water Swimming Almanac, a free listing in Sponsor My Swim, outstanding product discounts from FINIS, an entry in Openwaterpedia and more...
The Other Shore
The Other Shore follows world record holder and legendary swimmer Diana Nyad as she comes out of a thirty-year retirement to re-attempt an elusive dream: swimming 103 miles non-stop from Cuba to Florida without the use of a shark cage. Her past and present collide in her obsession with a feat that nobody has ever accomplished. At the edge of The Devil’s Triangle, tropical storms, sharks, venomous jellyfish, and one of the strongest ocean currents in the world, all prove to be life-threatening realities. Timothy Wheeler’s documentary brings Diana Nyad’s extraordinary adventure to life as Diana sets out to prove that will and determination are all you need to make the unimaginable possible.
2014 Open Water Swimming Almanac
An Almanac for Open Water SwimmingAn almanac is essentially a body of knowledge which is so complete that it enables people in different fields to make predictions about the future of their respective industries.
This, for example, was the purpose of the traditional farmers almanacs. It enabled farmers to determine as accurately as possible which crops to plant for the greatest harvests in a given year.
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There are, of course, many different kinds of almanacs.
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The trends are very clear.
The tide is rising for open water swimming.