Pools sometimes get a bad rap among open water swimmers. Marathon swimmers who live outside the Sun Belt are known to bemoan long winter hours in the “concrete prison.” David Barra memorably quipped to the New York Times:
The free spirits want to be outdoors, and have a relationship with a body of water…. You don’t have a relationship with a chlorine box.
But pools have their uses – even for marathon swimmers. Especially if one of your goals is to get faster. Alex Kostich was a U.S. National Teamer, an All-American distance swimmer at Stanford, and a training partner of Janet Evans in her prime. Now 41, Kostich is possibly the fastest Masters open-water swimmer in the country at the short distances (up to 5K). In the July/August issue of USMS Swimmer, here’s what he had to say about pools:
The easiest and most efficient way to get faster in open water is to do quality work in the pool.
Kostich is an open water specialist. He lives in Los Angeles. Yet he doesn’t train in open water.…