Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Ocean Swimming

Crawling through the water is boring. There's got to be ways of making it more enjoyable. However I don't know any. When I look at the horizon and realize I'll be out there for an hour or two demoralizes me. Crawling on my hands for miles, that is what swimming is, is mind numbing.

I need to think of games to play. Here are some:
1) Keeping my arms strong the whole stroke and feeling my strokes turbulence hit my feet.
2) Harmonizing breaths and strokes to the swells.
3) Spotting on every stroke and being aware of everything around me.
4) Timing myself?

I just saw the following tips:

1. Never swim alone. For safety purposes, always swim with a group or bring along a friend. Given the unknown elements, a dangerous situation may arise such as fog, currents, boats, etc. where you will be in much better shape with others around.

2. Adjust to cold water. If the water you are training in is cold, below 66 degrees fahrenheit, be prepared. Wetsuits are necessary. Wearing a swim cap and earplugs can help keep your head warm. Get in the water slowly and only get in for 5-20 minutes the first time out, gradually increasing your time in the water with each swim.

4. Upon exit of your cold water swim, drink warm fluids, take off your wetsuit, and dress warmly.

3. On sunny days, apply sunscreen 30 minutes before getting in (especially for those with light skin!).

4. Be careful of the fog. It is easy to get lost in foggy weather and lose sight of the shore.

5. Watch the seaweed. If you are ocean swimming and come across seaweed, stay high in the water and do not kick. The seaweed can wrap around you if your legs are kicking.

6. Never swim in a lightning storm.

7. Open water swimming can cause chaffing. Use petroleum jelly if this is a problem.

8. Goggle color. Use dark lenses on sunny days, blue lenses on cloudy days.

Open water swimming can be challenging, but for many it is FUN and a nice change from "following the black line" at the bottom of the pool. Enjoy, and remember, "when in doubt, get out."

1. Fuck that never swim alone bullshit. Swimming with others is a waste of time. Sure, get to know a place with friends. Once you know the place then don't waste time waiting for others. You've got to do it on your own because you can't count on others.

2. I partially agree with the cold water ideas. Keep in mind channel swimmers are out in 55 degree water for 30 hours or more. With no wet suits. And some of them are quite thin. However they've conditioned themselves. They have done this gradually over months or years swimming 4 days a week or more. Your body adapts.

3. Upon exit you won't have a wet suit on to remove hopefully. Because you are not one of those wimps who buy them. Because you swim 3 or 4 times a week you can handle temperatures all the way down to 50 degrees for an hour or two. However changing into warm clothe and drinking something warm might not be a bad idea. Your call. Duh.

4. Yeah, fog is crazy. You need techniques. Here are a few. There may be some swells you can use for direction. You may also be able to see the direction the current is pulling the sea weed. Perhaps you can hear something in the distance like barking seals?

5. Seaweed? uh huh. It's not a problem. It gets annoying when it's so thick you resort to pulling on it to get you about. Other than that it doesn't deserve attention.

6. Lightning storms are cool. It would be a great way to exit this life.

7. Yes, chafing is a problem. Use body glide for it. Most all wetsuit users need it. It's not needed as much for us swimmers who go natural.

8. Uh, don't use dark goggles at night or in fog. Duh.

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