Every other Thursday morning at the Fairmont Aquatics Center, we have an open water workout. It's the funnest workout of the week and a good way for those not familiar with open water swimming to get a taste.
On open water day our coach takes out three lane lines so that we have a 25 yard long by 4 lane wide "open water" pool. Instead of swimming back and forth, we swim laps around perimeter.
Here is what our workout looked like this morning:
6 laps - swimming counterclockwise around the perimeter
3 laps - "heads up" freestyle, swimming clockwise around the perimeter
6 open water starts - line up in the deep end of the pool and tread water until we are told to start. We practice getting out fast and hitting peak speed by the time we get to the wall. With each start, we compress into a tighter group to simulate crowded starts.
3 x 5 minute drafting swims - This is one of the funnest things we do on open water day. We practice drafting ("in line" and v formation) by alternating leaders and swimming for 5 minutes at a time. If you are the lead swimmers, your goal is to try to lose the other swimmers. You can do pretty much anything you want to lose them. If you are drafting, your goal is to not be dropped by the lead swimmer. Slower swimmers are allowed to wear fins and faster swimmers are sometimes given a t-shirt to wear to even things out.
5 minute cool down swim
Other things that we practice on open water days are sighting, turns, and pacing. I asked Coach Max to start including some "worst case scenario" training, which should keep things interesting.
If you're in the Salt Lake area on Thursday mornings, come join us for these fun workouts. We also have "regular" workouts Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday mornings at 6am.