Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Cushing, Oklahoma
Bikes: 1969 Peugeot U08, unknown MTB circa 1980, '93? Merckx MX-Leader
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I've been wondering the same thing. Did a recent P.R. of 1600 meters in 29:12 tonight at the Y. It's been twenty years since I did my last tri, but I am training for an Olympic distance tri in June. I'm wondering if a 28 minute open water 1500 is reasonable by June.
My experience in Corpus Christi Bay, Texas, was that my swim was 10-15% slower than my pool times (25m). As DogBoy says, going straight is hard. You have to look around with your head up more often than you'd like. Your legs go down every time and you lose momentum that can only be recovered by exertion of effort. Bumping and getting kicked is the lot of mid-groupers.
Most importantly, in a pool you develop a certain rhythm . . . stroke, stroke, stroke, stroke, big breath at wall, turn, push, glide, stroke, stroke, stroke, stroke, big breath at wall again, push, glide, etc. This rhythm of the laps keeps your pace up, refreshes you and allows the specific muscles a little rest every 30 seconds or so. If you lose your pace or let your mind wander for a bit, you easily return to pace at the wall where the rhythm is re-established. In open water, once your pace is lost it is hard to reestablish it without an effort of will and muscles. Plus, there's no deck clock!
As my race nears, I am going to break my pool rhythm by NOT making flip turns or even pushing off the wall hard. I am going to practice swimming many laps with my head above water and my eyes ahead. The day of the race, swimming with less than perfect form will be familiar.
Just my two cents.