I was lucky to attend Trifecta Endurance's open water clinic at Echo Reservoir Tuesday night and had a lot of fun. It was a great opportunity to meet fellow swimmers and triathletes as well as coaches Wes Johnson and Barb Sherwood. It was a chance for me to practice a lot of open water skills that I wouldn't otherwise practice in my training swims.
This is the first clinic that I have been to that had "swag" bags for each of the participants. There was some great stuff in there including a water bottle from Wasatch Running, a sample of BodyGlide, a gift card, a Marathon Bar, and some other fun stuff.
As everyone was putting on their wetsuits and getting ready to get in the water, we talked briefly about the importance of warming up before you start your race.
Once in the water we split up into two groups based on experience and warmed up by swimming around near the beach. The water felt nice even without a wetsuit and I would guess it was in the upper 60's. It was early evening when we got started and the wind was picking up and made the water a little choppy.
After warming up, we talked about sighting and practiced by swimming towards natural landmarks on the other side of the reservoir.
Next up was drafting. Wes, the coach that I was working with, told me that I needed to get a lot closer to the person that I was drafting and I did notice a difference when I followed his advice. We took turns drafting off one another and I enjoyed pushing myself a little to keep up with the faster swimmers in my group.
Once we felt good about drafting we moved on to turns and each had the chance to practice with feedback from Wes and the other swimmers.
The clinic ended with a race simulation where everyone started together and swam out to Barb and back. It's been a while since I have raced and I generally swim alone or with a small group so I had fun getting bumped and fighting through the crowded water at the start.
I highly recommend attending one of Trifecta Endurance's many upcoming open water clinics, whether you are a beginner or experienced swimmer. Nothing you can do will prepare you more for race day and help you to overcome your open water fears than spending time in the open water with experienced swimmers. Both Wes and Barb are experienced and accomplished athletes and coaches who are happy to share their knowledge and experience.