Coach Bill's Open Water Swim Workout Schedule
These are not coached workouts, just a swim and maybe a bike or a run (all optional, of course) with Coach Bill and possibly others. Distances and workouts vary. Friends and former students are welcome. Be warned that my schedule sometimes changes suddenly, and I may not have a chance to update this webpage.
To confirm a date, call
or text the day of the swim, or send email one day in advance:
Current Schedule last
updated May 23, 2013 - hit your Refresh button
Locations: Note that the Massachusetts DCR ParksPass can be used for parking at Walden Pond, Hopkinton State Park, Nantasket Beach, and most other DCR locations (not all beaches and parks are managed by the DCR). It's $35/year - a real bargain if you swim or run in DCR parks.
Water Quality. Between Memorial Day in late May and Labor Day in early September, the DCR tests water quality at various locations. You can call their Beaches Hotline 617-626-4972 for a recorded message listing any locations with unsafe water.
Weather Cancellations. Generally speaking, I swim if there is a gentle rain falling. I do not swim if there are electrical storms nearby, the air temperature is below 55°F, or if there are severe winds or other dangerous conditions. Summer storms can be very localized, so often the swim/no-swim decision is made only after arriving at the beach. If the weather is questionable, before leaving for the beach I usually check the following webpage for electrical storm activity: North East US lightning activity, last 60 minutes.
Note: To take water temperature I have a high quality pool thermometer attached by a one-foot string to a plastic bottle. I often leave the bottle floating about 100 yards from shore at the start of my swim, and retrieve it on the way back. So, if you see my bottle floating in the water (marked Breakwater Sports with a pool thermometer hanging below it from a string), please leave it be - I am out there swimming somewhere and will retrieve it shortly.
Open Water Swim Workout Water Temperatures
As of July all lakes and ponds where I swim usually are warm enough for swimming without a wetsuit. The ocean north of Boston is another matter. The temperature generally rises to mid-to-upper 60s F during the summer and into late September. BUT, there are frequent and dramatic drops to the mid-to-low 50s (for most of us, that is "instant headache" water). So, if you plan on swimming at Niles Beach or some other north-of-Boston location, bring all of your neoprene gear - (long sleeve suits, caps, gloves, socks) you can always leave what you don't need in the car. These temperature drops tend to happen on race day! See what happened below on the day of the Nubble Light Challenge. People who did a "test swim" a few days early found temperatures in the low 70s. When the race started (around 08 EDT on July 10) it was very low 60s:
Coach Bill's All Purpose Swim Training Plan: Open Water Skills + Intervals + Distance
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