First Open Water Swim

Bruce and I have been doing all our swim training at our local YMCA pool. As I posted a couple of weeks ago, we went out and bought wetsuits, so the next step was finding some open water to try them out in!

We live in a city that has rivers running through it, but the two most convenient beach areas are not super close – we live at the south end of the city, and the most convenient southern beach area is about 70 km (40+ miles) from our house. It is a nice little lake though, so even though it is far, it’s worth the trip. 🙂

Last week we headed out after Bruce got off work, on a grey, drizzly overcast night. Both of us (silently) thought we were crazy – after all, this looked cold and miserable! But off we went. The photos I’m posting were actually taken this week, on a much nicer, sunny day. 🙂

We arrived at the beach only to find a local triathlon club training as well – we weren’t the only crazy people out there! We wiggled our way into our wetsuits…

And waded out into the water. We were expecting it to be freezing, but we were surprised that it wasn’t too bad at all. The wetsuits kept us super warm, and even our feet weren’t too cold. We swam along the buoy line marking the swimming area, trying to get used to the open water.

There are some major differences between pools and open water! This beach is on a small lake with few waves, so water motion wasn’t too bad, but without a black line on the bottom to follow, we were swimming all over the place! So sighting became a skill we needed to learn. As well, both of us have been letting our swim training slack off in the lead up to the marathon, so just working on the strokes was tiring!

The wetsuits made us very buoyant, which was a nice advantage, and made the swim a lot of fun. By the second swim this week, we were able to do about 1000 metres worth of laps, in decent time. It became very clear, though, that we need to swim at least twice a week, and once should be in open water. Our first triathlons are coming very quickly, and we need to make sure we’ll make it through the swim!

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