Open water swim series: athlete guide

Welcome! I am really looking forward to working with you over the next 6 weeks.

The following athlete guide will help you prepare for each open water session, outlines COVID-19 mask & safety expectations, and provides instructions to get you onboarded to receive solo workouts through Training Peaks and receive any last minute notifications about changes to training sessions through the Startline Coaching training Programs private Facebook group.

Please review this guide prior to attendance on Saturday. Completing the onboarding process as soon as possible will ensure you don’t miss any workouts. It wont take long 🙂

Each week, I will update this page to reflect any changes to the program, accommodations for weather, etc.

Note: The meeting point for open water swims has moved from Grimaldo’s chair, Brighton Beach to Coney Island Beach directly in front of the New York Aquarium. Those travelling by mass transit should detrain at Stillwell Avenue. We will meet you each Saturday on the boardwalk @9:45 AM in front of the aquarium.

Open water swim series agenda:

This program is a 6 week pre-race program for athletes looking to develop open water confidence & stamina, and improve technique in preparation for summer racing.

Each week you will receive 2-3 workouts via Training Peaks to complete on your own, plus there are 4 open water sessions where you can specifically train under the guidance of coaches. Training sessions in the open water will be specifically focused on:

  • Open water confidence & endurance
  • Turns, sighting, drafting, exits & entries
  • Race simulation efforts

The sequence of open water & solo workouts is designed to prepare you to be ready to race in about 6 weeks with sufficient training volume to successfully complete your event. The broad outline of the program follows below.

Week 1 – Open Water Swim- Saturday June 5 (10:00AM – 12:00PM)

Forecast: The water temperatures will be 60 Degrees. The forecast calls for air temperature as high as 84 degrees. Should be a great day, albeit chilly in the water. Wetsuits are essential.

Location: Coney Island Beach, directly in front of the New York Aquarium

  • Safety protocols
  • Dryland warmup
  • Session objectives:
    • Open water comfort & confidence development
    • Sighting effectively & efficiently
    • Swimming straight & common faults
    • Racing & up tempo breath patterns
    • Endurance development sets
  • Post session – 40-60 minute run + short dryland exercise demonstration

Equipment Needs:

  • Wet suit, towel, cap, swim suit, drinks & snacks
  • Sneakers, socks, and running clothes, sunglasses

Bag watch: Bag watch will be provided. Athletes will be able to leave gear on the beach.

Solo workouts:

  • Will include endurance sets & open water technique sets to practice in your pool.
  • Swimmers will be asked to complete a time trail effort to set swim pacing zones.
  • Alternative dryland strength sets.
Week 2 – Open Water Swim – Saturday June 12 (10:00AM – 12:00PM)

Forecast: The current water temperature has risen to 66 degrees. The air temperature for tomorrow will be 68 degrees. Be sure to bring warmer clothing for before & after the swim, and something wind cheating to cut the sea breeze. The good news is that the water will be warmer!

Location: Coney Island Beach, directly in front of the New York Aquarium.

  • Dryland warmup
  • Session objectives:
    • Racing & up tempo breath patterns
    • Swimming straight & common faults
    • Developing more power & maintaining momentum
    • Endurance development sets
  • Post session – 60 minute run

Equipment Needs:

  • Wet suit, towel, cap, swim suit, drinks & snacks, and lube to ensure your wet suit does not chafe.
  • Sneakers, socks, and running clothes, sunglasses

Bag watch: Bag watch will be provided. Athletes will be able to leave gear on the beach.

Solo workouts:

  • Endurance sets & open water technique sets to practice in your pool.
  • Swimmers will be challenged to swim efforts at controlled paces to build stamina
  • Alternative dryland strength sets.
Week 3 – No Open Water Swim

Location: No Open Water Swim

Solo workouts:

  • Endurance sets & open water technique sets to practice in your pool.
  • Swimmers will be challenged to swim efforts at controlled paces to build stamina
  • Alternative dryland strength exercises.
Week 4 – Open Water Swim – Saturday June 26 (10:00AM – 12:00PM)

Forecast: TBD

Location: Coney Island Beach, directly in front of the New York Aquarium.

  • Dryland warmup
  • Session objectives:
    • Turns, Exits, Entries & Race simulations
    • Pacing Sets
    • Open Water distance effort – Goal: (0.5 – 1M)
  • Post session:
    • Yoga/Stretch

Equipment Needs:

  • Swim buddy, wet suit, towel, cap, swim suit, drinks & snacks
  • Sneakers, socks, and loose clothes, sunglasses

Bag watch: Bag watch will be provided. Athletes will be able to leave gear on the beach.

Solo workouts:

  • Race effort sets & open water technique sets to practice in your pool.
  • Swimmers will be challenged to swim efforts at controlled paces to build stamina
  • Supplemental dryland exercises.
Week 5 – No Open Water Swim

Location: No Open Water Swim

Solo workouts:

  • Race effort sets & open water technique sets to practice in your pool.
  • Swimmers will be challenged to swim efforts at controlled paces to build stamina at race pace
  • Supplemental dryland exercises.
Week 6 – Open Water Swim – Saturday July 10 (10:00AM – 12:00PM)

Forecast: TBD

Location: Coney Island Beach, directly in front of the New York Aquarium.

  • Dryland warmup
  • Session objectives:
    • Race day simulations
    • Race day process (race walkthrough procedure, & standard warmup)
    • Open Water distance effort – Goal: (1mile – 2mile)
  • Post session:
    • Yoga/Stretch

Equipment Needs:

  • Swim buddy, wet suit, towel, cap, swim suit, drinks & snacks
  • Sneakers, socks, and loose clothes, sunglasses

Bag watch: Bag watch will be provided. Athletes will be able to leave gear on the beach.

Solo workouts:

  • Race effort sets & open water technique sets to practice in your pool.
  • Swimmers will be challenged to swim efforts at controlled paces to build stamina at race pace
  • Supplemental dryland exercises.

Equipment to bring to open water sessions:

  • Water temperature range in Coney Island in June is from 57 to 75 degrees. According to the forecast, the water temperature in Coney Island will rise for at least the next 10 days and reach a value of 65°F.
  • Air Temperature range in Coney Island in June is from 62 to 84 Degrees.

Bag watch will be provided at open water sessions. Athletes will be able to leave gear on the beach.

The basics:

Some warmer after clothes: Weather conditions can be variable and water temperatures can be quite cold in early June. It is essential that you also have some warmer clothes to wear in case you get cold.

Running clothes & shoes: Typically, a running or strength/stretch session will be combined with the open water session.

Sunscreen: You can expect to spend a considerable amount of time in the sun. A high quality waterproof, mineral based sunscreen is recommended. These block UVA & UVB rays most effectively and are effective immediately upon application.

Athletic swimsuit: You will be swimming a lot. A swimsuit suitable for competition is required. If you are looking for more coverage and sun protection, Tri suits are also suitable. Fashion swim suits, or baggy trunks should not be worn to swim sessions.

Goggles: We recommend that you bring two pairs of googles to the camp. Both a tinted pair and a clear pair

Towel: Don’t forget that! Self explanatory really.

Water bottle & snacks: Please bring sufficient fueling for swim sessions. A light electrolyte product & snack foods for sessions. This will keep you happy and productive during the long sessions.

COVID mask & a plastic baggie for storing your mask during all sessions: For your own protection, all athletes who are not fully vaccinated are expected to wear masks at all times except when swimming. Bring a plastic bag to store your mask while in the water. See COVID-19 safety protocols section below.

Training tools:

Note: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Each athlete must bring their own gear. No sharing of equipment will be permitted.

Swim Buddy – To maximize safety, we ask all attendees to bring a Swim buddy to Open water sessions when asked to do so. Swim buoys will be mandatory for some of the open water swim sessions. They can also hold your valuables while you are in the water as opposed to keeping your keys and wallet in your shoe (not that anyone does that).

Wetsuit– You can bring either a short sleeve wetsuit or long sleeve wetsuit for open water sessions. The water is typically quite cool at this time of the year so I would recommend a long sleeve suit if you have one.

Tempo Trainer (optional) – A invaluable tool for your indoor pool sessions. Your solo workouts will prescribe specific paces & strokes per minute. A tempo trainer will facilitate hitting the targets prescribed and is an tool to add to your swimming arsenal.

Covid-19 safety protocols:

Given recent changes in CDC guidance, Covid-19 safety protocols have been simplified for all Startline Coaching programs

  • Unvaccinated swimmers are asked to arrive in masks & remain socially distanced while at the session.
  • Masks are optional for all fully vaccinated swimmers while at the session.
  • Swimmers will prepare for swimming leaving all of their gear in their own bags. No sharing of equipment, food, drink etc.
  • Hand sanitizer will be available for use by all swimmers when at the session.

Athlete onboarding guide:

The following onboarding guide will get you connected with the rest of the Startline Coaching athletes and help you through all the onboarding steps.

Connect to the Startline Coaching Programs Facebook group

To connect to the group, please Like Startline Coaching on Facebook and I will invite you to the Group. You can like Startline Coaching on this page.

I use the group for rapid communications to athletes, training session cancellations, and many other notifications. The group is private community and a resource for all athletes with presentations and other helpful resources. Athletes use the group to coordinate with each other as well. Running late to a Group Training Session? Tell the group on Facebook!

Note: At this stage, I am still using Facebook for group communication. An evaluation of other options is under way because it is time to move away from Facebook. But for this season, I am going to stick with it. This will take a bit of time but viable options are starting to appear, My goal is to integrate the solution with startlinecoaching.com outside of a social media platform.

Get your Training Accounts Connected/Synced

  1. Establish a TrainingPeaks account and connect it to my coaching account.

I will be posting all workouts and be reviewing your workouts through TrainingPeaks. You do not need a premium subscription to participate in the program. A free subscription is perfectly functional for receiving & uploading workouts

  1. Establish a sync between TrainingPeaks & your Garmin/Polar/Other device.

This will automate the upload & down of workouts to your head unit/watch etc. 

Looking forward to working with you this weekend! Let’s do this!

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