Jordan’s take on Open Water Swimming

Jordan Wilimovsky (Team Santa Monica)  just completed his freshman year at Northwestern University where he broke the school record in the 1650 and was the first NU freshman to qualify for the NCAA’s in an individual event since 2006.  In 2012 he burst onto the open water scene at the nationals in Ft. Myers Florida when he took home the silver in the 5K.  Last month he was 4th in both the 5K and the 10k and he’ll swim the 25K at the world championships in Barcelona.  Here’s some of his perspective on open water swimming:

What’s the biggest difference between open water swimmers and pool swimmers?

I don’t really think that there is a big difference between pool and open water swimmers. For an open water swimmer you might have to do more yardage than the average pool swimmer, but there are a lot of people that train for both.

What’s you’re #1 “rookie” mistake that you’ve made in your open water career?

My #1 rookie mistake would be trying to lead from the start at 2012 open water nationals. I thought I was swimming really well until everyone who was just drafting off me started to sprint by me. I died at the 9k mark. My coaches’ #1 open water rule is “don’t lead at the 5k”.

Is there a different vibe at the start of an open water race versus standing behind the blocks before a pool race?

I like the start of an open water race because I think its more relaxed. You are usually with teammates and while getting ready, you can talk and take your time walking out to the dock or swimming over to the start. The start of a pool race is more intense with everyone lined up behind there block.

What’s the most insane set you’ve ever done in preparation for an open water race?

I don’t know what the most intense set I’ve ever done to prepare for open water was. One that we did the last couple of weeks that I found really challenging was a long course set of 12×100’s on 1:10 1make it 1build 1fast followed by 2x50s one push one dive fast on :40. That set 4x through.

Where’s the most interesting place you’ve swam open water?

The most interesting place I have had the opportunity to compete in open water is definitely the Cayman Islands. I just recently swam in the Flowers Sea Swim 1 mile and 10k races there and it was awesome. The water temperature is 84 degrees and you can see fish and other stuff while you swim.

What are you thinking about during a 10K race?

During a 10k I try not to think too much. I just like to focus on my stroke and try to stay in a good position.

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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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