Getting ready for Summer Open Water Swims

The unofficial start of summer is here in the United States with the passing of Memorial Day last weekend; and this means more folks will start hitting the open water swimming scene. There’s no denying that training in the open water is both liberating and fun, but it’s important to maintain your work in the pool for the physiological adaptations you’ll need to race your best. At the Wind-n-Sea Masters Swim Team in La Jolla we devote a good part of our training to account for specific open water scenarios.  Most notable it the variability in pace that is part of many swims. A good real life example of this played out in the women’s 10K at the recent USA Swimming open water nationals. There were several lead changes throughout the race and especially in the last 1500 meters there were a lot of tempo changes too.  Your next race may not be as intense as the nationals, but adapting to tempo changes in the beginning, middle and end of a race will help you be best prepared for a good event.  Here’s a set we did this week with the masters group that featured professional and amerature triathletes as well as professional surf lifeguards who are prepping for the ocean races of the summer.


8 x 75 kick middle 25 + 400 no walls

Main Set (interval set by lane)

 500 @ 6:30/7:30/8:00 (set pace)

2 x 250 @ 3:15/3:45/4:00 (beat pace above)

4 x 125 @ 1:40/1:50/2:15 (beat pace above)

5 x 100 @ 1:20/1:40/1:50 (beat pace above)

10 x 50 @ :40/:50/1:00 (fastest possible repeat – sub :30 for the fast lanes)

400  Alligator Eyes Down + Tennessee turns at far wall/no walls near wall

200 warm down

Here’s some of what it looked liked – Keep having fun with your swimming

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About Mike Lewis

Mike Lewis

Mike Lewis is a freelance commercial, sport and lifestyle photographer based in San Diego.  Mike began making photos in the early 80’s and immersed himself in all aspects of the photographic arts.  Mike’s professional career in in photography began after 12 years working within the United States Olympic movement; he …

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