Coaches Matt Mitchell and Hank Wise of Beach Swim Club Masters give open water-specific workouts that are great for swimmers and triathletes.

For example, for the upcoming Huntington Beach Pier Swim, Matt and Hank know that specific pool workouts will give their athletes an advantage.

When you come back into the surf, your heart is beating at over 150 beats per minute, but you have to catch a wave and then kick all-out with your head down. Sometimes, you have no opportunity to breathe,” said Matt. “In these pier races, we sprint for 100 meters out through the surf, diving under the waves, driving up your heart rate and sending you into oxygen debt. Then you swim about 800 meters around the pier at a good pace, setting up your bodysurfing finish where you have to keep your head down and kick hard to gain the most out of the wave. So we need to prepare for that.”

One pool workout example is 5 x 300 with the first and last lap being no-breathers.

It definitely takes your breath away.

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