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Thursday, December 26, 2013
100 Things Every Open Water Swimmer Should Know
The World Open Water Swimming Association also has its own list of 100 Things Every Open Water Swimmer Should Know. Its coaches share this information and tidbits with newbies and veterans at its clinics and camps:
1. Expect the unexpected.
2. Predictable unpredictability occurs in the open water. Have a race/swim plan and then be flexible when necessary.
3. Safety first; you can always swim another day.
4. It is farther than it looks.
5. Acclimatization takes time, patience and effort.
6. Acclimatization is better and healthier than purposefully putting on excess bioprene.
7. The Many Wrongs Principle in the open water is generally right.
8. Pack navigational accuracy (navigational IQ) generally increases with group size.
9. Directional uncertainty is reduced with increased familiarity of the open water course.
10. The Certainty of Uncertainty Principle can work to your advantage or disadvantage.
11. Sprint to win; pace to place.
12. Swim fast at first [in a competitive race].
13. Use your legs either for propulsion or stability.
14. In a large pack, pace slows around turn buoys.
15. Draft at the feet of the lead swimmer when the pace is slow; draft off their knees/hips when their pace is fast.
16. Know the shape of the pack: tripod, arrow, rotating arrow, beeline, rotating beeline, peloton or hybrid.
17. Learn to swim without swallowing water, no matter how turbulent the water is.
18. [Elite] women push the pace from the start; [elite] men negative split the race.
19. Learn to body surf and do it when you can.
20. Railroad whenever possible.
21. Use at least 2 pairs of goggles in your practices, just in case you might need the second pair in a race/swim.
22. Put Vaseline on your ankles and outer shoulders to prevent competitors from ziplining you.
23. Use sunscreen, preferably the biodegradable type.
24. Use a pace clock during pool workouts.
25. Do not overuse or become overly reliant on hand paddles or pull buoys in practice.
26. Swim snorkels can help you focus on your hand path and improve your stroke technique.
27. Swim near the mid-ship of your escort boat, breathing towards your pilot and crew.
28. Use fins - kicking at a high pace - to help improve ankle flexibility and leg strength.
29. Use ear plugs if the water is cool/cold for you.
30. Lanolin stays on much longer than Vaseline.
31. You can practice dolphining in a shallow pool and every time in open water practices.
32. Frequently practice "what-if" scenarios.
33. Know your limits when it comes to hypothermia. Know how and what extreme/cold water temperatures/conditions affect you.
34. Know your limits when it comes to hyperthermia. Know how and what extreme/warm water temperatures/conditions affect you.
35. Select escort crew members for their expertise and experience, not for their fun and friendships.
36. Become familiar with your hydration in practice.
37. Become familiar with foods that are good for you; not for their percentage of fat, carbohydrates and proteins.
38. Stress your body to improve your stamina, speed and strength.
39. Stay positive and motivated: swimming should be enjoyable.
40. Be consistent in your training.
41. Know how best to treat jellyfish stings.
42. Do not rub tentacles off your skin.
43. If you see a shark, go "big" (i.e., spread out how arms and legs and go vertical).
44. If you see a shark, try to keep your heart rate low.
45. If you see a shark, keep it in your visual range.
46. Do not grab the fins of a dolphin or porpoise.
47. Do not reach into a coral reef or anything with a shell.
48. You are the visitor in any marine environment; respect the local marine life.
49. Things hide and live with seaweed and kelp beds.
50. Know what venomous, stinging, biting creatures are indigenous to the place where you swim.
51. Share your knowledge of open water swimming with triathletes.
52. Share your knowledge of local open bodies of water with others, from water temperatures to safe swim courses.
53. Be on time for practices; be punctual for Toes In The Sand or Toes In The Water.
54. Be positive, especially when a swim is a DNF, a DNS, a DSQ or an OTL.
55. Offer to volunteer at races, clinics, camps, seminars and solo swims.
56. Offer to pack goodie bags or pick up post-race food or help with buoys for a race director.
57. Donate as you can for charity swims.
58. Thank the volunteers, race director, staff and crew. Express your appreciation in person and in words.
59. If you see something wrong at a race, tell the race director, safety personnel and volunteers. Put it in writing afterwards.
60. If possible, clip your finger and toe nails before a race.
61. Strengthen your core.
62. Improve your flexibility, especially your shoulders and ankles.
63. Cross-train, doing something you enjoy.
64. Do dryland training if you cannot find a pool or open body of water.
65. Find/use a restroom before you show up at the race. Restrooms are always crowded before the race starts.
Nutrition and Hydration
66. Hydrate well; your urine should be clear before a race/swim.
67. Know what foods agree with your stomach, especially when the open body is turbulent and wavy.
68. Eat a normal breakfast on race/swim day. Do not skip this important meal.
69. Do not litter the open water or the shoreline with your unused or used plastics, cups or containers.
70. Know the Four Steps of Feeding: (a) Seek and Spot, (b) Reach and Roll, (c) Gulp and Go and (d) Toss and Turn.
71. Practice ins-and-outs to improve onshore finishes and your T1 transitions.
72. Incorporate pull-outs and deck-ups in your pool training.
73. If you are not fast, do not start with the alpha dogs in the front row at races.
74. Accept the fact that physicality, whether intentional or unintentional, is part of the competitive open water swimming.
75. Accept the fact that drafting, whether intentional or unintentional, is part of the competitive open water swimming.
76. Use rubber gloves or a plastic baggie to apply lanolin, sunscreen or Vaseline; keep your hands free from ointments of all kinds.
77. Learn how to urinate while swimming; there is no need to stop.
78. Know what side your competitors prefer to breathe on.
79. Pollution and boat exhaust are occasionally part of the equation. Learn to deal with them.
80. Know the race course well and the number and placement of the turn buoys.
81. Know where and why you chafe.
82. Shave before a race if your beard or stubble cause chafing.
83. Lakes and fresh water feels colder than ocean and salt water at the same temperature.
84. Modify your stroke-per-minute pace and kicking at altitude.
85. Learn how to put on and take off your wetsuit quickly.
86. Remove watches, rings, necklaces and other jewelry in open water swimming competitions. With all the bumping, impeding, scratching, pulling on legs or arms, cutting off, veering into, tapping or touching, slapping, clipping, conking, swiping, whacking, pulling off goggles or swim caps, obstructing, ziplining, interfering, pummeling, nudging, punching, kicking, elbowing, pushing, jostling, shoving, crowding, banging against, smacking, smashing into or pressing against other swimmers, others can get cut or hurt.
87. Assume windsurfers or boaters cannot see you.
88. Even if you have the legal right of way in the open water, do not cross the path of surfers, windsurfers or boaters.
89. Do not swim behind a boat.
90. Make a list of the things you need before a race or swim.
91. Pack your bag and prepare all your equipment/hydration/feedings the day/night before your race/swim.
92. Get a good night's sleep, especially 2 and 3 days ahead of your race/swim. Insomnia and the jitters are normal the night before.
93. Bring an old t-shirt to wear immediately after your swim if you will be cold and you will wear lots of lanolin. The shirt will be junked with all the leftover lanolin on it. 94. Bring an extra towel and most certainly, extra goggles and swim caps.
95. Make your goggles clear by cleaning out with a few drops of baby/mild shampoo.
96. Try or use nothing new on race/swim day.
97. Do not apply sunscreen on your race numbers after they have been written on your skin. They will smudge.
98. Bring extra toilet paper for use at the race venue, especially when using portable potties.
99. Use coconut oil or other mineral oils to quickly and efficiently remove black ink/race numbers from your skin. These oils are more effective than wet wipes.
100. Enjoy the sport for your entire life.
On the opposite side of the equation, here are 50 Things An Open Water Swimmer Should Not Do.
Copyright © 2013 by World Open Water Swimming Association
2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference
Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR THE CONFERENCE
The Global Open Water Swimming Conference is a conference on the sport of open water swimming, marathon swimming and swimming during triathlons and multi-sport endurance events.
The conference which has been attended by enthusiasts and luminaries from 6 continents, is devoted to providing information about the latest trends, race tactics, training techniques, equipment, psychological preparation, race organization and safety practices used in the sports of open water swimming, marathon swimming and triathlons.
The conference's mission is to provide opportunities to listen and meet many of the world's most foremost experts in open water swimming, and to meet and discuss the sport among swimmers, coaches, administrators, event organizers, sponsors, vendors, officials, escort pilots, and volunteers from kayakers to safety personnel.
Dozens of presentations at the 2014 Conference at the Mount Stuart House cover numerous aspects of the vast and growing world of open water swimming where attendees can learn and share the latest trends, race tactics, training modalities, swimming techniques, equipment, race organization, logistics, operations, and safety practices for open water swimming as a solo swimmer, competitive athlete, fitness swimmer, masters swimmer, triathlete, multi-sport athlete, administrator, race promoter, sponsor or referee.
The conference was first held in Long Beach, California as part of the 2010 USA Swimming National Open Water Swimming Championships. It has since been held on the Queen Mary in California, at Columbia University and the United Nations in New York City, and in Cork, Ireland. This year in September, it comes to another iconic location, the Mount Stuart House on the Isle of Bute in Scotland.
"The Global Open Water Swimming Conference was started due to the desire and need for athletes, coaches, referees, administrators, race directors, promoters and sponsors from around the world to share, collect and learn information about the growing sports of open water swimming, marathon swimming and triathlons," said founder Steven Munatones. "Other swimming conferences usually offering nothing on open water swimming or perhaps a speech or two, but we thought open water swimming deserves its own global conference. It is great that the community shares its information via the online social network, but there is nothing like meeting other open water swimming enthusiasts face-to-face and talking about the sport from morning to night."
Speakers at the conference include English Channel swimmers, ice swimmers, record holders, renowned coaches, world champions, professional marathon swimmers, renowned race directors, officials and administrators from the Africa, Americas, Asia, Europe and Oceania.
"Because the audience is passionate and educated about the sport and its finest practitioners, the Global Open Water Swimming Conference is also the location of the induction ceremonies for the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame and the annual WOWSA Awards that recognize the World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year, the World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year, the World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year, and the World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year. Special Lifetime Achievement Awards are also occasionally presented to individuals who have made significant contributions to the sport over their career."
The 2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference Programme
Wednesday, September 17th
Leave Glasgow to commence 2-day tour of Scotland [closest international airport is Glasgow]
Thursday, September 18th
Stay Mainland, North of Scotland
Friday, September 19th
14:00 - Swim Loch Lomond
17:00 - Head to Isle of Bute
19:30 - Scottish Banquet
21:30 - Dinner Dance
Saturday, September 20th
09:00 - Registration & Coffee
10:00 - Speeches
12:20 - Lunch and WOWSA Awards
13:40 – Speeches
15:40 - Round Table
19:00 - International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Dinner & Induction Ceremony
Sunday, September 21st
09:00 - Registration & Coffee
10:00 - Speeches
14:30 - Swim in St Ninian's Bay on the Isle of Bute
The luminaries of the open water swimming world who will be honored in Scotland will include:
* Sandra Bucha (U.S.A.), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer and International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Swimmer
* Jon Erikson (U.S.A.), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* Claudio Plit (Argentina), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* Judith van Berkel-de Njis (Netherlands), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* David Yudovin (U.S.A.), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* Mercedes Gleitze (Great Britain), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* George Young (Canada), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* Dale Petranech (U.S.A.), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Contributor
* Melissa Cunningham (Australia), 2013 Irving Davids-Captain Roger Wheeler Memorial Award winner
* Vojislav Mijić (Serbia), International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Swimmer
* James Anderson (U.S.A.), International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Administrator
* Dr. Jane Katz (U.S.A.), International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Administrator
* Indonesian Swimming Federation, , International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Organisation
* Elizabeth Fry (U.S.A.), International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Swimmer
* Pádraig Mallon (Ireland), the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year
* Olga Kozydub (Russia), the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year
* Bering Strait Swim (international team), the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year
* International Ice Swimming Association (Ram Barkai, founder, South Africa), the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year
For additional articles on the 2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference, visit:
* Olga Kozydub To Be Honored In Scotland
* Pádraig Mallon To Be Honored In Mount Stuart Castle
* Mount Stuart House, Splendid Setting For Swimming
* Colleen Blair To Kick-off Global Open Water Swimming Conference
* The Man Who Swims Better Than He Walks
* Joining In The Sea Goddess At The Hall Of Fame
* Mercedes Gleitze To Be Honored In Scotland
* The Incredible Career Of Merceded Gleitze
* Jon Erikson To Be Honoured In Florida
* The Incredible Career Of Mercedes Gleitze
* St Ninian's Bay To Host International Swim Conference
Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association
Swim Across the English Channel...
Who else is looking for a qualified open water swimming coach to help them swim across the English Channel?Chloë McCardel is a 6-time English Channel Swimmer who inspires and instructs. Access featured content by Chloë in this month's issue of the Open Water Swimming Magazine. Published monthly by WOWSA, the Open Water Swimming Magazine is a digital, interactive publication made available exclusively to WOWSA members. See what you've been missing! Become a WOWSA member today!
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.
In fact, there is even one for open water swimming...
Preview the Open Water Swimming Almanac:
The trends are very clear.
The tide is rising for open water swimming.