Experience training primarily or exclusively in a current/resistance pool?
A couple years back, we sprung for one of the swim in place/current pools. Due to locale and family/time constraints its pretty much all I've swam in the past couple years except for a couple summer trips to the beach, play time at the swimclub with my son and waterparks.
I did some searching and mainly found articles talking about open water swimmers using such pools just as a supplement, to fine tune technique but not as their primary training pool. So I wonder if anybody here has experience training for long open water swims in such a pool? If so, results? experiences? recommendations/tips?
My main concern has to do with bad habits and/or unpreparedness.
A couple of issues off the top of my head:
- Setting a pace. One big obvious difference is that you don't set/control the pace yourself, you set the pool and it controls the pace. This is nice for just banging out a session, but I can imagine how not having experience setting your pace physically would be a weakness in a long swim event.
Just fooling around swimming at the swim club this summer, I noticed that without thinking that I fell back to using straight arm stroke instinctively and had to consciously force myself into using to using the elbow catch stroke which I usually swim with during training in my pool. I suspected it was just a matter of feeling slower in a pool with no current.
Bad habits, streamlining. When swimming sessions against the current there is no immediate reward for being more streamlined or using less energy for the distance covered. If I do that, I can end up swimming past the current or getting out of the way of the current, so its actually a negative. I have noticed on occasion using bad technique just to get myself back into the flow. Obviously, that's no good.
I really have no idea how "far" I'm swimming in order to know how prepared I'll be. I know how long I swam and how fast the pool says the current is, but that's not any real solid info.
I'll probably have more to say later... TIA