If your race—be it a triathlon or a swim event—is in the open water, nothing can mimic the feel of the event much like getting out and swimming in the open water. An open-water swim is truly a different beast than a pool of any length.
Short of that, though, doubling the distance between the walls will serve as a confidence boost before you head out to your wall-less event. If you develop comfort swimming in a 50-meter pool compared to a 25-yard pool, you'll be another step closer to being comfortable when you dive into the open water.
The Case for 25-Yard Pools
Short pools aren't all bad, though. Though Kostich doesn't personally swim in 25-yard pools, he can see how they would benefit age-group triathletes.
"Short-course training is a very good way to get faster," Kostich said. "I think going to a short-course pool and focusing on quality-oriented workouts can be good for triathletes. It's not to develop endurance because (endurance athletes) already have that. It's to develop speed, which they don't."
If the 50-meter pool in your town is an extra 15-minute drive away, or costs more to get a pass or whatever may make it an inconvenience, mix up your training days. Go to the 50-meter pool once a week to throw a wrench in your routine.
Come race day, it could be the advantage you need to fly through your swim.
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