open water swimming, training, swimming
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2017 Swim Training and Open Water Swimming with the GT Bay YMCA

By GT Bay YMCA Coach Tony Venticinque

The GT BAY YMCA is excited to once again partner with the Watershed Center Swim for Grand Traverse Bay open water swim.

The YMCA is now offering an open water swim training program that incorporates pool swims with actual swimming in the West Bay. In the pool we’ll start with basic stroke mechanics and building endurance. In the Bay there are no walls to rest on or lane lines to hold on to, so you need to do a little work before you get in over your head - pun intended.  

In the pool we will also introduce open water skills like sighting to swim in a straight line. Many of last year's participants can tell you that the course is measured in a straight line. You may or may not swim a LOT further depending on how much zigging and zagging you do.  

We’ll also practice swimming in tight groups so that you can get accustomed to passing and being passed by other swimmers. We’ll discuss the advantages and disadvantages of wetsuits and what type is right for you. Water skiing wetsuits have reinforced shoulders your arms don't get ripped off by the boat driver. Surface swimming wetsuits have very flexible shoulder and buoyancy positioned strategically to help with your swim technique.

The Bay is too cold to be in for very long just yet, but it is NOT too soon to sign up for the training program at the YMCA and be that much more prepared. Open Water Swim Training officially starts in June. Pool swims are at the Central YMCA in the Easling Pool. As part of the swim training program you can choose one of the following plus the weekly Friday open water swims at Senior Beach at 6 a.m. 801 E. Front St.

1. Tues + Thurs: 5:30am swim
2. Tues + Thurs: 6:30pm swim
3. Mon + Wed: 12:00pm swim

The cost for the program is $55. You do not need to be a YMCA member to join, but you do have to be registered for the Swim for Grand Travere Bay to participate. Call (231) 933-9622 or email to register.




Is my wetsuit strangling me or am I having a panic attack?
The Importance of Warming Up Properly aka How to Not Dig Yourself into a Metabolic Hole
GT Bay Weekly Open Water Swims Start June 3

The Grand Traverse Bay YMCA open water swims begin this Friday (June 3) at Bryant Park at 6:30 a.m. Wetsuits are mandatory as water temps are mid to high 50s. We will be IN the water less than 30 minutes and not very far off shore. (These swims are part of the Y Tri program, but the Friday swims are free and open to anyone who wants to participate.)

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