Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Years ago – and among some pool swimming coaches even nowadays – competitive pool swimming coaches in America and elsewhere believed that if a competitive pool swimmer focused on open water swimming, or even participated in open water swims, then their speed would decrease and their pool swimming times would suffer.

The evidence for this assumption is, at least, thin and most probably inaccurate from a general perspective.

We have seen improvement in pool swimming times over and over again. Teenages and athletes in their 20s – and some even in their 30s – continue to get faster in the pool even while racing in open water swimming competitions, if their training continues at a comparable level.

One recent example is the 8:25.89 800 meter freestyle that open water swimmer Stephanie Peacock swam this week at the long-course TYR Fran Crippen Swim Meet of Champions in Mission Viejo, California.

Peacock’s best lifetime effort in the 800m freestyle – after a long career as a highly competitive swimmer and an emerging open water swimmer – establishes her as the eighth fastest distance freestyler in the world this year – only a few weeks after focusing on the USA Swimming National Open Water Swimming Championships.

Meanwhile, Ous Mellouli continues to show he is getting very ready for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games with a 15:15.46 in the 1500m freestyle despite still being in heavy training.

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