Open water swimming in Atlanta area?
April 3, 2006 9:09 AM   Subscribe

My husband, brother and brother-in-law are doing a triathlon in August. Where can they practice swimming in open water in Atlanta and/or Athens, GA?

... or other places nearby?
posted by mdiskin to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (6 answers total)
Check the web for local triathlon clubs, they often have websites or maintain forums for discussing these types of things.

Although I can't give any advice on locations, I have a little tip. Have them follow someone in a kayak (preferably a cheap inflatable). They should practice looking up to spot the kayak. This is excellent practice for spotting the buoys that mark the triathlon course.

There is a world of difference between swiming in a pool and swimming in open water surrounded by people so open water practice is a really good idea.
posted by probablysteve at 9:59 AM on April 3, 2006

Thanks -- I should have asked for tips. So... anyone with more tips for open-water swimming?
posted by mdiskin at 10:03 AM on April 3, 2006

Would Lake Lanier do the trick?
posted by grabbingsand at 11:30 AM on April 3, 2006

Here's a list of lakes in Georgia. I grew up in Atlanta and the best swimming I had was at Lake Lanier and Lake Allatoona. There are probably some hidden gems somewhere that my family didn't know about, though. My parents weren't very outdoorsy, and I got kicked out of girl scouts young.
posted by hazyjane at 11:39 AM on April 3, 2006

A few more tips:

1. Distance in a lake can be measured using GPS or possibly google earth if you can map out a good point-to-point course.

2. Wetsuits. They are like training wheels for swimming. If you don't want to buy, some tri shops allow you to rent. But usually you have to reserve them far in advance.

3. Be prepared to be hit, kicked and pushed for the first few minutes. So it would help to get some experience swimming in a group. Crowded lanes at a masters swim practice can be good practice for this.

4. I used to try to swim laps while a water aerobics class frequented by very very large people was scheduled. The chop created by a dozen 300lb people jumping up and down closely replicates average lake/river wave action.

5. Sealmask.
posted by probablysteve at 12:42 PM on April 3, 2006

Go to Lake Acworth/Lake Allatoona (Lake Acworth, however, is constantly drained) north of Atlanta (about 30-50 minutes). If you go even more north (Cartersville area), there are some other parts of Lake Acworth there that are absolutely gorgeous.
posted by itchie at 1:08 PM on April 3, 2006

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