This post is rated Olympians.
Today, I have the rare pleasure of swimming long course. I love when Olympic pools are set up at 50 meters. There are a couple in the Nashville area and today is a special treat at one such pool.
I guess there a few reasons why I love to swim long course over short…
To start, it is a much better simulation of open water swimming. With more distance between walls, you can focus more closely on both speed and stroke.
Next, with long course there aren’t as many flip turns. First let me go on record by saying that I have the upmost respect for competition swimmers and highly respect their talent and discipline. For the purpose of triathlon swimming, it just doesn’t apply. It is a necessary evil no doubt, but practicing a technique that will never be used in racing is hard to justify.
Lastly, swimming long course allows for time-trial intervals. The universally accepted swim leg for an Olympic distance triathlon is 1500 meters. 1500 meters is very easy to track at 50 meters per length of the pool. Sometimes when swimming short course, I lose track of my distance count and feel as if all I am doing to flipping turns and pushing off the wall.
Ok, so let me put it out there plain and simple…the 1500 meter time trial:
1 lap = down and back = 1 flip turn = 100 meters.
2 laps = down and back, down and back = 4 flip turns = 200 meters.
In total, 15 laps or 30 lengths + 30 flip turns = 1500 meters.
Why don’t you try swimming a 1500 time trial the next time you have a chance to swim long course? It will give you the closest thing to your swim split that a race could possibly bring!