IronMikeIronMike BostonCharter Member
edited March 2012 in General Discussion
(Can't believe I didn't start this initially...)

Granted, navigation isn't a problem when you have an escort and/or kayaker. But what about when you don't?

I seriously believe I swim about 10% more than the race distance, based solely on how much I have to readdress my line during a swim. Yes, I know I should bilateral swim and that'll solve everything. But even the few races where I maintain bilateral breathing for a while, I still swerve right.

I am hindered now and for the last 3 years of only being able to swim in a pool. I intend to work on navigation once I return to the states and have access to open water. Any ideas, though, on how to work on navigation?

Just here troubling deaf heaven with my bootless cries...



  • loneswimmerloneswimmer IrelandCharter Member
    It amazes me how people will often not look at a map before a race. Even a loose idea of the course can help.

    The best trick is always to have a landmark high above the finish to aim at. Something manmade will be better as you are less likely to mistake it for something else. One round hill often looks like another from 2 cms above the water.

    Coasts all look the same from the sea. Channels and coves disappear or are invisible when you look in from a boat so even harder from swimming. Work on raising your eyes to sight without slowing down by raising your whole head, but don't be afraid to stop and look also, as sometimes it's advantageous when everyone is swimming blindly.

    Also, you need to work on holding a straight line without sighing every 3 strokes. Pick something near, swim 20 strokes to it, and see how you you deviate. Keep practising so you cna reduce your sighting to every 8/9 or even 20 strokes. Try initially keeping your arms wider on entry to help you aim.

  • IronMikeIronMike BostonCharter Member
    Thanks Donal. I do try to sight every 8-10 strokes only. I've managed to find landmarks for a few swims.
    I know I swim "right" and try to aim a little left of landmarks. But for half my swims (Dart, Cyprus, Denmark) landmarks weren't easy to find.
    I hope with a sufficiently large enough OW area (1km straightaway?) I will be able to practice swimming straighter.

    Just here troubling deaf heaven with my bootless cries...

  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    Seems like there are a couple separate issues here: (1) swimming straight, and (2) determining your heading.

    To practice swimming straight, try swimming down the middle of your lane in a pool with your eyes closed (obviously, not when you're sharing the lane with anyone else). Though Mike, this might be less useful in your short pool in Moscow.

    Also, be aware of your technique and make sure you're not crossing over the center-line at the front of your stroke. This is a common reason for unintentional "listing."

    For the 2nd issue (determining a heading), Donal is right that sighting tall manmade objects and familiarizing oneself with the course map can help. If it's a loop course, focus on the turn angles. Aside from that, it's just a matter of practice, practice, and more practice...
  • SharkoSharko Tomales BayGuest
    When swimming where there are currents it is important to do an occasional triangulation between a points in front and behind...drifting will oftentimes change and end-point directional strategy....also it is not always necessary to raise the head forward as one is looking left and or right when they breath which enable one to look at 90 degree points which are indications of forward direction...In swells one can usually keep a straight line by approaching the swells in the same direction thus avoiding raising the head very high to look forward.

    "I never met a shark I didn't like"

  • JanetJanet NYCMember
    I happened across this description of periscope swim goggles for open-water swimmers. Pretty amusing!
  • bobswimsbobswims Santa Barbara CACharter Member
    I happened across this description of periscope swim goggles for open-water swimmers. Pretty amusing!
    I hope the person with that patent isn't planning on retiring on the royalties.

  • IronMikeIronMike BostonCharter Member
    Did a set on Thursday that was for navigation: swim with eyes closed. I ended up in the same place in the lane each time. So that's good. Only prob is my pool's lengths are only about 15m long. Would love to redo this set in a LCM pool.

    Just here troubling deaf heaven with my bootless cries...

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