Category Archives: swimming

Open Water Swimming Tips

Open Water Swimming TipsOpen-water swimming can be a daunting prospect for the novice, and those who are less experienced often dread the first leg of their event.  Yet it isn’t always that bad.  I recently came across an article that interviews open water swimming veteran John Flanagan about his own advice for those more rookie peers.  Since open-water swimming includes plenty of variables that drastically differ from pool swimming, so he says the best way to get better is to experience it yourself.  But before you jump into the water, here are some tips from Flanagan for open water swimming to help you avoid some of his past mistakes:

Practice sighting: Flanagan says the best way to sight during a race is to lift your head and look forward while you’re turning your head to breathe.  Limit how high you lift your head because your hips will drop otherwise, so go for just below the goggle line, and then take your breath when you turn your head to the side.

Time when you sight: The more you look, the more tired you get, but the less you look, the less straight you may swim.  That’s why you need to find that comfortable balance.  If you’re in an ocean race, be sure to sight as you’re rising from a swell so you’ll be able to see.

Train in open water: If you have the chance to train in the open water, go for it.  It’s not always the fastest swimmers that win these races, but rather the ones with the smartest race and the most experience.

Stay warm: Your body can shut down due to cold, so try avoiding that with everything you can: wetsuits, two caps and earplugs are some things that help you keep warm.

Goggles are vital: Find a pair of comfortable goggles that will allow you to see well.  Don’t wait until race day to try out your pair of goggles, only to find out that you hate them.

Learn the course: You might not always have somebody with you during the race, so check the buoys before your big race.  Look for landmarks like trees or houses that can help guide you in a straight line.  You won’t always be able to sight off buoys in the water.

Have a fast start: Be warmed up and prepared to get out of the gate roaring.  You want to limit as much contact as possible on the start, so get out fast, and you can settle into your pace afterwards.

Learn to breathe on both sides: When somebody is next to you, the best thing to do is breathe on the opposite side.  If not, you might lose your goggles or get hit in the face, which is much worse than a hit to the back of the head.

Draft when you can: Drafting is a part of open water swimming that can both help and hurt you.  You may be able to hang on to a faster group of swimmers, but you could also get stuck behind some and not know how slow you’re actually going.  Be careful how you use it.  It’s better for triathletes that are saving their legs for running or biking.

Eat and hydrate well: Take care of your body.  Ironic as it is, it’s very easy to get dehydrated out in the open water, so drink plenty of fluids.

todd proa navy beats army

Navy Sinks Army to Extend Quarter-Century Win Streak

Army’s stroke of bad luck continues, dropping another meet to Navy in both men’s and women’s swimming and diving by a combined score of 393-207 at West Point. Both navy’s swimming and diving teams beat Army, winning twenty-four of thirty-two events held at the Candall Pool.

Navy’s dominance has been extended to twenty-six consecutive victories for the women’s team and twenty-four for the men’s.

While both teams put on a spectacular show of effort in each event, Navy made it clear that this was their night right from the start. The men’s team won the first four events of the evening, which included the 200m medley relay, the 1000m freestyle, the 200m free, and the 100m backstroke.

After just the first eighth of the entire meet, the Midshipmen led 62-12.

However, the Black Knights women’s team would not be deterred. Despite losing the previous twenty-five consecutive meets, they won the relay by a mere .4 seconds. By the time they reached the halfway point for the meet, the gap had been closed to 85-65 for the women.

Unfortunately for Army, the Midshipmen have far more experience in marine conditions and made sure to make that known in the second half.

The Mids women’s team roared out of the gates in the second half, winning five straight events. This streak also saw Charlotte Meyer tie her own school and meet record (set in 2013) in the 200m backstroke with a time of 1:58.98. More records were broken, with Smith breaking the meet record with a 4:51.53 time in the 500m freestyle. They continued their success through much of the second half of the meet and put up a 147-98 lead before the final three events of the meet.

In nine of the thirty-two individual events, Navy owned the podium, taking first, second and third place. In sixteen others, they placed first and second.