Living in Canada, we are known to have long and harsh winters. It’s not very ideal for triathlon training. We need to be adaptive in our training to work on race specific skills with the resources we have available. I will share a swim workout that I find beneficial for open water swimming.
One of my favourite workouts is working on drafting and open water turns in a 50m pool.
6×400 (LCM) Draft Chain on 6 mins
Essentially if you have a large training group you can accomplish this quite easily, however, if you train a lot by yourself in the pool, it’s harder to accomplish the race specific aspect of drafting and the physicality of open water swimming.
Say you have 5 people in your lane at the start. First person leaves, with the second person immediately jumping on their feet and so on. When the person in the lead reaches the ‘T’ at the bottom of the pool, they stop and tread water over the ‘T” and act as a buoy. The rest of the swimmers in the chain go around him simulating an open water turn. Once the last swimmer turns, the person that is the buoy jumps on to the end of the chain of swimmers, now they are the end of the line. This is repeated for every 50m till you reach 400m.
You can mix it up with different scenarios. We have a few things that we do in our training group that I have listed.
- Canadian Open Water Turn
- German Open Water Turn
- ‘Dirty Harry’
The Canadian Turn is essentially nice and calm. You work on your open water turn with no chaos or real hitting.
The German Turn is when the person is the bouy, he pushes and disrupts the swimmers swimming around him. This gives simulation of open water experience.
The ‘Dirty Harry’ is when the first person turns around the human buoy, they sprint for 15m then hold threshold for the rest of their time at the front. This forces the 2nd,3rd and the rest of the swimmers further back of the chain to get on feet as quickly as possible. Then try to recover as fast possible.
Being in Canada doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t become better at open water swimming specific skills.