If the lakes aren’t an option, one would think that Barton Springs would be a decent place to train for open water races. No lanes to guide you. The 1/8 mile course that ends/begins within the pool and the funky bars at the dam essentially take away the turns. And, of course, unless you have the pool to yourself, which is rare this time of year, or unless you are one of those people who seem to believe the world revolves around you and think others should watch out for you while you swim backstroke or you go to sleep in your snorkels, you have to sight.
The problem is, the sighting you do at Barton Springs is in no way homogeneous with sighting in the open water. While many swimmers are doing some resemblance to laps; some others are doing laps perpendicular to the 1/8 mile course, some people are just playing around, diving for the bottom, going off the diving board, standing still, jogging, or chasing the wildlife. You can’t just sight where you are going, even when you aren’t blinded by the sun. You need to constantly look around in all directions in order to avoid collisions: not good for your stroke or for your neck.
I mention this because my neck is sore this evening. It must be from swimming like Linda Blair.