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if the water temperature is warm. A good guideline for wearing a wetsuit is the USA Triathlon rule for competition: under 78 degrees, wetsuits are legal; over 84, wetsuits are not allowed; use your individual preference between 78-84 degrees. Don’t forget to hydrate, as you need to constantly drink water to avoid overheating in wetsuits and to maintain good hydration when training in open water. Be aware of your physical surroundings. Because lake water is not clear like pool water and there’s no black line or lane ropes to guide by, swimmers must sight on other objects. Find some sighting spots such as trees, docks, or buildings on the horizon or use buoys to help you swim straight. “Sighting” means you’ll need to look up (kind of like a crocodile) every few strokes to see where you are going. It’s important to sight in order to keep track of how far you’ve gone and, therefore, not over-extend yourself. Also, make sure to visually note your entry and exit points. Think about your method for entering the water, as sometimes a deck is used to access deeper areas as opposed to a beach or ramp with a more gradual entrance. In one case, you’ll

be jumping into the water as opposed to wading out to start your swim. Monitor current conditions. Current conditions are important so that once again, you don’t do extra swimming that may extend you physically beyond your limits. This is not such a problem locally, though you may need to practice this if you are traveling to do a race or open water event (especially an ocean swim) outside of Austin. Have the right equipment. There are several pieces that can help you with open water and most of these are used for safety rather than as training enhancers. The number one piece of equipment is your training buddy! You should not swim in open water by yourself; always go with a friend who can help in case of emergency. Wear a brightly colored swim cap. It will help retain body warmth in cooler temperatures as well as enable people to keep track of you. Use goggles with a wide range of view or an open water mask that provides a larger viewing area. Most of the bigger goggle companies now make a variety of options, so be sure to use something that fits comfortably. You don’t always have to Fit3 swim



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June 2012 - The Outside Issue  

The Outside Issue with #1 Cable Wakeboarder, Tom Fooshee, as the cover feature.