You are… Transitioning to open water
“Open water is a completely different environment—no walls, no black line, an uneven water surface, cooler temperatures, and lots of friends swimming right next to (and sometimes over) you,” Sheanin says. “There’s no substitute for experience, but you can mimic some of these conditions in a pool.”
Try these drills:
Swim with your eyes closed. “Pay attention to whether you drift or turn to one side or the other, and work on balancing your stroke so you can swim in a straight line with your eyes closed,” he says.
Practice sighting 2–3 times per lap. “Don’t simply pick your head up—actually focus on an object at the end of the lane,” Sheanin says. “Make sure you maintain a good catch (with a high elbow) and keep your kick steady. Breathing still happens to the side, separate from sighting.”
Try your wetsuit in the pool. Once in a while, swim the first 1,000 yards in your wetsuit so you feel more comfortable on race day.
Start a swim workout at race pace. Work on adjusting your pace so you can sustain it for an uninterrupted 400–600 swim or longer.