I have just finished my first sea swimming triathlon, at Sumner,
Christchurch, N.Z. Though not long (nominally 500m), I was full of
apprehension before the swim, being a beginner swimmer etc.
However with my borrowed 7mm diving suit (minus the jacket bit) I
felt that I could at least dog paddle the course. The course was
a triangle, out, along the shore and back in. The main problem I
had and hence my question(s) was that there was a fairly large
breaking swell (1m+) with the waves about 10m (??) apart during
the whole part of the swim. I am a pretty slow swimmer who likes
to think about technique, but in the conditions on the day I found
I had to throw all my new found knowledge out the window and
basically keep my head up for navigating and avoiding getting
swamped. As a consequence I was practicing what I think has been
labelled the `Tarzan' crawl for the whole swim and I was pretty
knackered towards the end. My philosophy was to be comfortable
and survive. I had tried one previous sea swim for training but conditions
today were totally diferent Does anyone out there have any hints on how to
handle these conditions? All attempts to keep proper body and head position
seemed in vain as the water level kept changing. Is it `normal' to do the
whole swim in this style or is it better to attempt orthodox swimming and
go `through' the swells?
I think the swim was short in distance - my time of 9 min would
have been a PB in the pool. The rest of the race went as planned
- finally managed to average over 35kmh over 20k!!