Swimming in open water (ie a lake or ocean) is a lot different than swimming lanes- so of course it's important to practice, to get a feel for what it's like. One of the big differences is dealing with the crowds that happen at a mass start--okay, it's not quite as bad as the video, but swimming in a pack is a whole new game. Sighting can be practiced in the lanes, but it's kind of tough when you don't have much to look for, but cornering is strictly an open-water skill.
So last night, we pushed back the bulkhead that usually splits the 50m University pool in two, cleared out the lane ropes, and dropped four "buoys" into the corners. Most of the team have wetsuits, but I haven't been able to justify the purchase yet, so I was one of only a handful that went without. But I can't really blame the crappy swim on not having the buoyancy of a wetsuit.
Yep, you read that right... it was a crappy, crappy swim. It felt sloppy, I couldn't find my rhythm, and I think I was just tired from Wednesday's training ride. I did about 90% of the workout, then did some core work on my own before calling it a night. I tell myself I would have pushed through it if I didn't have a race this weekend, but I still feel bad about not quite finishing.