Swim Improvement

Last night we had another open water swim courtesy of Race Omaha at Lake Cunningham. It was super windy so setting the buoys out was a bit of a challenge. Thankfully it was just a practice swim so the distance didn’t have to be spot on like race day. Cade and I set up a course that was roughly 750 meters. The water temperature according to the fish finder was about 77-78 degrees.

Cade didn’t swim this week because he just got a new tattoo. He’s supposed to let it heal before swimming so he’s taking a little two week break.

I decided to do a longer swim this week so when I was heading out I told Cade I would do two or three laps before coming in. I wore my long sleeve wetsuit even though the water was a bit warm. I would’ve worn my sleeveless suit but didn’t bring it with me.

I started after everyone else so on my first lap I was passing a lot of people that were taking it easy and getting acclimated. There were a lot of people new to swimming open water.

I remembered to use my Foggle wipe in my goggles so they didn’t fog up so bad this time. That stuff is great. You can get it in Omaha from Janet at Running with Scissors by Janet.

I felt very smooth and relaxed. I was concentrating on keeping my body long, rotating my hips, sighting in a rhythm, using my entire arm pull, and enjoying myself. I had a little problem with phlegm in my throat and coughing underwater, but that’s pretty normal for me. I should probably go back to the doctor and get another prescription for an albuterol inhaler. That does seem to help.

I hit the lap button on my Garmin 910xt each time I completed a lap. I got a little glimpse at my time and was happy to see that my pace was pretty consistent.

Nearing the end of lap two I saw a dude go by in a red kayak. It wast hard for me to tell that it was Cade. He followed me around in the kayak for laps three and four just watching me paddle along. He told me afterwards that I looked pretty good. There was one length of the last lap where he said my form got a bit messy but when I rounded the next buoy I pulled it back together and looked great going in. Little did he know that during that length I took in a big mouthful of water and spent the next couple hundred yards trying burp and cough it up. When I rounded the final buoy I decided to pick up the pace a bit to see how it felt.

I was shocked when I stood up and looked at my watch.


Holy cow that’s crazy fast for me! 3177 yards averaging 1:34 pace? My fastest 100 yards in a pool ever is 1:35. That is amazing. I was glad that I hit the lap button so I could see my average pace throughout.

Lap 1:


Lap 2:


Lap 3:


Lap 4:


Needless to say, I’m very happy with my swim. Just for fun, I did a little math. If I could keep that pace up for another 1000 yards or so (which I felt I easily could), that would knock 20 minutes off my Ironman swim time. What? That’s so crazy!


Posted on June 21, 2013, in Training. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. That is incredible! And exciting. Just out of curiosity (and because I don’t get many chances to do open water swims), how do your pool times usually compare to your open water swims?

    • Molly Pearson

      Generally my open water swims are a bit slower than my pool times. I’m very happy to swim 1:40/100yd in the pool and don’t always manage to go that fast. I think my fastest 100 ever in a pool was 1:35. That’s why I was very surprised to average 1:34 over 3177 in open water. I was able to really get in a good rhythm and cruise. We shall see if I can duplicate the effort this week.

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