Is a 5K really the gateway drug to marathon swimming?
I just completed my first 5K, the Fat Salmon Swim in Lake Washington. I am pleased with my swim. I came in roughly the time I expected. Paced it correctly and felt really strong the whole way. Swam no wetsuit in reasonable water temp. I think it probably was around 69F. I really, really, really had fun and enjoyed the whole thing. And already I can see myself doing that one again, but also I'm thinking that maybe, possibly... ok, probably I'm going to try a 10K. And so it begins...
I also have a 2 questions for those of you with more experience in this area. We sure had a lot of chop and wind during the race. I was bouncing around like a cork. I swim in a reasonably straight line and so I don't sight a whole lot. I had a great landmark to sight on. At one point I got nailed by some waves. I'm paddling away furiously and lift to sight and I was about 90 degrees off! Got corrected and zigged and zagged my way to the finish line. My question is how do you handle navigation when you've got a lot of forces pushing you around? Are you doomed to just have to sight more often or are there other tricks that can help you maintain course without having to sight every few strokes?
Second question. To prepare for this 5K, I slowly upped my yardage until I was doing 5K a day. It prepared me quite well to swim a 5K because basically I was practicing swimming 5K's. However, I don't see this as being so feasible for swimming a 10K. For one, I don't really have the time to be swimming 10K a day. But also, I just don't think this would be effective training. What are some of the recommendations for learning how to do a 10K? I will need to learn not only the actual swim part of it, but I will need to learn about nutrition and feeding. Can you point me to some links because I'm sure this has been asked, but I'm not the most perceptive person when doing research.
Thank you for any help and also for the inspiration to try this new, for me, sport.