Open Water Frequency


Posted by Coach John

At MPI we use the terms “frequency” and “consistency” to describe the foundation of training for endurance events like triathlon. Our bodies seem to adapt better if we get in some kind of training nearly every day.

I’ve thought of the frequency and consistency mantra lately as it relates to my open water swimming. Recently I have been swimming in the Gulf of Mexico or the Santa Rosa Sound nearly every day, sometimes 2 or 3 times each day. My personal training schedule includes 1 open water swim per week. However with triathlon season in full swing I am regularly accompanying athletes for open water swims. The athletes are eager to improve their technique or maybe they’re just trying to get over some open water anxiousness.


Yesterday a group of us swam a mile in the Gulf. I thought of the benefit of swimming so frequently in the open water. There are stroke adjustments that I make based on currents or chop. There is the ability to change the way I turn my head to breathe. My sighting and navigation seems to be getting better. The list goes on.  


As a swim-focused triathlon coach, I want to impart this information to all triathletes but primarily the ones that have some nervousness about getting out in the open water. For a better race day experience, spend time swimming in the open water. I recommend at least once a week. After a while you will begin to get more comfortable out there.


Remember the safety aspect:


  • Swim with a buddy or a group.
  • Know your abilities.
  • Wear a brightly colored camp.
  • Swim away from boats and jet skis.


Enjoy your training and I’ll see you at the races!


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