Monday, 11 November 2013

A Woman's Guide to Open Water Racing: Top 10 List of Do's and Dont's - Dawn Heckman

The extract below was taken from an article 10 Open Water Tips--From a Woman's Point of View written by Alex Kostich on This is for all the ladies out there participating in open water events this season.

A Woman's Guide to Open Water Racing: Top 10 List of Do's and Dont's - Dawn Heckman

10. Grow your nails. In an open water race, it is not uncommon for people (men especially) to swim over you in order to get by. When you find yourself being plowed over by some huge guy, let them know they're swimming in your territory by giving them a little scratch! When they realize they can't just push you aside, they'll usually back off and chart their own course.

9. Pace yourself. Often men dash out of the start, using testosterone to their advantage by swimming as fast as they can. Then, somewhere near the middle of the race, they get tired and start to slow down. This is the perfect opportunity to reel them in and pass them one by one. The race hurts a lot less, and to be honest, it's quite fun passing men near the end of a race! Their egos are a little crushed, and passing them gives you that extra mental boost to finish the race strong.

8. Relax your stroke. The ocean is more powerful than you are. It's not worth wasting energy fighting it. Try to develop a rhythm with the current conditions. Don't worry about technique. Technique is something you practice in the pool. Your work in the pool will pay off in the ocean.

7. Avoid unwanted hickies. Use Vaseline around chafing areas. There is nothing worse than having your swimsuit straps rub against your neck in salt water for a long period of time. If you don't wear Vaseline, you'll end up wearing a turtleneck for two weeks, or you'll have to constantly explain to everyone (including your boyfriend) that Dracula wasn't sucking on your neck!

6. Don't shave right before the race. Razor burn and salt water need I say more?

5. No itsy-bitsy teeny-weenie yellow polka-dot bikinis!!!

4. Race sans jewelry. Although necklaces, anklets, and bracelets are fashionable, they are also very enticing for someone to grab on to. (And if sharks and other forms of carnivorous wildlife are a concern for you, eliminating all shiny things, earrings included, is highly recommended.)

3. Wear your goggles under your cap. If you start the race with goggles, most likely you want to finish the race with goggles (especially if you wear contacts). The start of an open water race is very crowded and hectic. It is not uncommon for someone to knock your goggles off (intentionally or unintentionally). If you put your goggles on before you put your cap on, they will stay put and not fall off.

2. Carpe diem! Seize the moment. Enjoy your surroundings. Embrace nature. Swimming in the open water is very refreshing. Most people are afraid of it. You're doing something most people would never even consider doing, so live for the moment!

1. Draft, draft, draft. Generally speaking, men create larger waves than women. Use this to your advantage. Swim directly behind someone who is slightly faster than you, and let them do the work. When you're close to the finish, pull to the side and use the energy you've saved to sprint the rest of the way.

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