Home > Tri Posts > Don’t Drink the Water

Don’t Drink the Water

It's not that scary...

It’s not that scary…

One of my biggest laments in tri training is my lack of OW (open water) swim training.  Sure – I jump in the pool with varying frequency (actually a lot less frequency living in Toronto – must keep working to find a better pool solution).  But there’s something to be said for training in the open water – sighting practice; long swimming stretches without a bottom to touch or a wall to grab; not having a line on the bottom of the pool to keep you straight; varying water and air conditions.

So last night after dinner I decided to hop on the ferry to Toronto Island to get in an OW swim in good ‘ol Lake Ontario.

(that's me on the ferry... in case it isn't super clear... which it isn't)

(that’s me on the ferry… in case it isn’t super clear… which it isn’t)

I was a little skeptic at first – growing up, I always though of the waters off of Toronto’s beaches as being some of the dirtiest waters in the province.  Turns out they’re actually pretty darn clean.  Not sure if that was then and this is now, or if that was fiction and this is fact (or if tomorrow I’m going to wake up mighty sick).  But either way, off I went.  Must say though, I had this song stuck in my head the whole time I was swimming…

It wasn’t my longest training session – I swam just 0.88km (or one round-trip length of the break wall off one of the beaches), and didn’t properly time myself… I once heard a quote (sorry, I don’t remember where from):

If it isn’t measured, it isn’t training – only exercise

Whatever – I still think it was a valuable session.  I pushed hard, and swam well, but more importantly I adventured out to a new site and tried it out.  Next time I know what to expect – I know how long the wait is for the ferry, I know where to walk once I get to the island to find the beach – where to change, where the lockers are, where to swim.

... and apparently, I also know where to walk.  Seriously!?  Only on Toronto Island

… and apparently, I also know where to walk. Seriously!? Only on Toronto Island

I call this a successful trip.  I think I may make it a weekly routine to get out and do an OW session (though possibly two or more laps of the break wall next time – if I’m going to go through the trouble of ferrying out there).

Have you had any adventures lately, trying out new places to run, or bike, or swim (or whatever you do)?

 

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  1. July 8, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    My second Tri a few weeks ago was my first open water swim start. I found in the pool I could swim 2 miles non-stop, but in open water I could not get past a couple hundred, I just lacked confidence. A month to that tri I spent every weekend in murky water just getting comfortable. On Saturday I would do a group distance swim (advantage kayaks/life guards) then on Sundays I went to a lake with a buoyed swim start. I went out to the edge where I could no longer touch and I just swam laps between the buoys. The advantage here was the fact that I could always easily get to an area where I could stand. By the time of the tri I felt as comfortable, more so, than I did in the pool. Just keep at it and try new things in the pool and then carry it over to the open water.

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