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Preparing For Open water Swimming

Posted by Charliemcleod Admin on


Published on March 13, 2017 Comment(s): 0

You might be completely comfortable when swimming in a heated, lifeguard protected swimming pool, but if you’re looking to get into the open water, you need to be prepared for the big differences between pool swimming and open water swimming. Swimming in a pool is still good practice despite the differences, but when you first hit that cold open water, you need to understand what you’re in for.

  • Practice what stroke you’ll be using. The most popular swimming style for the open water is the front crawl, so it would be a good idea to practice this.
  • The breaststroke uses less energy than the front crawl, so make sure you can do this when you need to catch your breath in the water.
  • Open water swimming is a battle of endurance. Be sure you can swim further than the length you’ll be swimming without putting your feet down.
  • Practice your distance training. Over time, push yourself; the further you can swim at once, the better you’ll be open water swimming.

These are all techniques you can practice in your local swimming pool, but it’s a great idea to try and get some experience in the open water before you start to swim. Take the time to visit some open water, preferably the location you’ll actually be swimming in, and get used to what you’ll be dealing with in person.

What Skills Do I Need To Swim In The Open water?

The most important thing to remember in Open water swimming is Distance Training. You must be able to go above and beyond your actual goal, whether you’re racing or taking part in a triathlon. There are no walls to push off or rest on, so you’ll need to be able to continuously swim without touching anything. Learn how to tread water comfortably, as there will be nothing to rest on in the water. You may spend a lot of your time treading water, so you need to be good at it.

Beyond the basics, there are specific techniques to remember that are involved in Open water swimming. You need to be able to turn and move easily. This will often be an important part of the race due to the different markers you’ll need to touch, so it’s vital to practice. Practice your breathing while swimming. Being able to breath out in both directions is very important, and you need to be comfortable doing so.

A simple thing to keep in mind is to keep looking to see where you’re going. There are no ropes to guide your way, so you could swerve off-course easily if you aren’t paying attention. Be sure to keep an eye on whatever marker is guiding your path. Practice looking forward while swimming in the pool. Also, try and get used to swimming in groups, as you’ll likely be surrounded by numerous people during the event.

What Equipment Will I Need?

A properly fitted wetsuit is vital for a triathlon, but in general open water swimming, you’ll need some basics. A swimming cap and goggles will be very important, and the properly fitted swimsuit will be very important. Once you’re out, a warm towel is always necessary, why not try one of out Driathlon’s. Manufactured from a highly absorbent microfibre, this will dry you in seconds but also offer a changing system that is perfect waterside! If you really want to keep snug, you can get a CMc’s Sports Cloak to ensure you’ll be warm after your swim. This is a multipurpose cloak that can help you keep warm while changing or after swimming, and is a great addition to any swimmers that are going to tackle the open waters.


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