Today was the first Anthony Bagnetto Fitness open water swim clinic of the 2014 tri season and we couldn’t have asked for better weather. High 60′s breezy and nearly cloudless we all arrived at Brighton Beach without a hitch. I was excited to meet two new athletes and reconnect with everyone in one place. After donning our wetsuits, sharing some bodyglide (ankles, wrists and neck) we headed off to the beach to set up camp.
Buoys in place and Kristin my wife in charge of valuables watching, photography and general helpfulness, we went over some open water skills and got moving.
With the water still being fairly cold, there weren’t alot of sunbathers to swim around so we were able to practice sighting without fear of running into some standing Russians.
With 7 of us total, we had ample opportunity to practice clumped group starts and even some drafting.
After a handful of ~300m laps we wrapped up by practicing some beach entry starts and exits and called it a day. Bagels were consumed, we recapped and headed for home.
This kind of open water practice with a small group and an instructor you trust can go a long way towards alleviating open water swim fears on race day. During these swims its important to practice coping skills when things get to intense along with proper form and sighting. The simple act of wearing race day gear and getting comfortable in your wetsuit BEFORE race day can prevent alot of frustration and last minute adjustments. Plus, with the right crowd its can be lots of fun!