A Sit Down with Katie Grimes

Katie Grimes Wins OW National Championships

We recently sat down with US swimmer Katie Grimes after her win at the US OW National Championships in the 10k. Have a quick read and maybe it can help you with some of upcoming swim racing, training or just give you something to read while you are on the bike trainer.


Andy:  Hi Katie, Congrats on such a great career so far and on your recent win at the OW National Champs. Let's get to the hard hitting questions first- How did you celebrate? Any special dinner or post race meal?

Katie: Thank you very much! I am so excited to be able to continue to represent my country, my family, friends and club.  Usually after OW, my craving is a hamburger. I start by just refueling my body with my P2Life protein drink. 

Andy:  A lot of triathletes spend a lot of time training in OW to gain 'comfort'. Do you ever train in OW?

Katie:  We hardly ever actually train in OW. All of our preparation is done in the pool. As you mentioned, training in OW is great for comfort and relieving apprehension but I am pretty comfortable in the water so it is not an issue. 

Katie Grimes

Andy: Interesting- I have a very similar experience. With that, what do you see as the main differences between pool and OW swimming races at your level?

Katie:  For me, there are many differences between pool and open water. There is much more strategy when it comes to OW, and it is very reliant on the course and venue that you are swimming in. In pool swimming, it is much more simple. It is very consistent from competition to competition, and there are far less variables. In pool swimming, you can really focus on yourself and “stay in your lane”, but in OW your race is very much dependent on what other people are doing.

Andy: Given that OW races are so dependent on the course and other people; did you have expectations or a strategy going into the race and how did it play out?

Katie:  Whenever I’m going into an open water race, I try not to have any expectations because you really don’t know what to expect. So heading into the race, I just visualize any possible scenario and be confident that I can handle anything that happens in the race. Having multiple strategies in case something unexpected happens allows me to stay calm, be 'quick on my feet' and try to think 3 steps ahead of my competitors while always being able to adapt and overcome.

Andy: Do you have a favorite set or workout that you do to get ready for OW swim races?

Katie: Every Monday morning practice, we will do a distance freestyle set. Mostly just working on staying on pace, switching gears, and finishing with high intensity. Those practices really got me prepared for the 10k.

Katie Grimes

Andy: Being able to switch gears and having late Power/late speed is something we preach to all of the athletes we coach at Andy Potts Racing for swim, bike, and run. It is critical for success at every level. Okay, now for what 'the people' what the people really want to know: What do you eat pre-race?

Katie:  I eat oatmeal every morning before practice, so I don’t switch much up on race day. Oatmeal is a good choice for me because it's easy on my stomach, and it keeps me fueled for a long period of time.

Andy: Speaking of eating, most people don't know that you can eat/hydrate during an OW swim race. What do you eat/drink during your 10k races?

Katie: Yes it is very foreign to most people that you can actually feed during an open water race. My feed usually consists of about 8oz of water with electrolytes and hydrate mix, sometimes a pain reliever.

Andy: OW swimming brings in another element that isn't present in pool swimming, and that is equipment. How did you find out about HUUB?

Katie: My coach actually recommended for me to try a HUUB wetsuit. The HUUB wetsuits are much different and far superior to any other that I’ve tried. The mobility allowed in the shoulders is key in OW, so the HUUB Agilis wetsuit was a good fit. For most women, I think the Aura2 or the Pinnacle(launching in June in the US) would be the best options but if you were a high-level swimmer, the Agilist is a great option too.

Katie Grimes

Andy: I know you have to get back to training, last question- what's next for you?

Katie:  I just plan on training hard, staying focused, and keeping my mind in line. For races, I will be competing in the Italy World cup. This race is mainly for experience and getting me prepared for World Championships in Fukuoka in July.

Andy: Thank you for your time today and best of luck in the WC's!

Katie: Thank you and for everyone reading- go buy HUUB, best choice I made!