How many weeks before a race do you start your training focus?
I like to go into race season with a solid mileage base. So, when it comes to training for an upcoming race I'm not worried about the miIeage and can focus on the next race's specifics. About four weeks leading up to a race is when I focus in on that race. The week before the race I should be tapering, so the three weeks before that is the real hard core part of the training. Because I already have my mileage base dialed in I can focus on race techniques like buoy turns, interval training, sprints and race starts.
Where do you train? Who do you train with?
I train on the Willamette River, about ten minutes from my house. The river is pretty mellow most of the time and is great for flat water training. I always train by myself. I like the time to myself so I have to use my training watch as my training partner, so I can judge my speed and to push myself.