lake above below surface

Get Ready For Open Water Swimming

With the new open water/triathlon season about to start, what can you do to make sure you are ready for your first dip?

Practice some key open water skills in the pool Sighting, head up swimming, breathing to both sides and deep water starts can all be done during your winter training period. Over the next few weeks, whilst the water still warms up, get down to your local pool and refresh your skills.

Wetsuit

Check it still fits and if not consider treating yourself to a new one. Unless you are a really competent swimmer and can remain in a streamlined position using your core and a sustained leg kick you won’t normally need the top end suits. Entry and mid level suits are designed to give a bit more buoyancy to the swimmer. Fit rather than price is more important.

Swim Endurance

If you have neglected your swim practice since last summer the best place to regain your water fitness is probably the local pool. Its safer and warmer and you can build up over a number of weeks and still have enough time to enjoy the open water during the warmer part of the year. If you do head straight for the open water make sure you do it safely and never alone. Just swimming slowly around a course will not help you progress, try and vary the pace you swim and introduce
some specific skill practice. If you need some help why not consider a coached session and get some constructive feedback.

Easy does it

The early part of the season is still, quite literally, a cold shock for open water swimmers especially those venturing into this arena for the first time. Limit the amount of time you spend in the water
and get out once you start to feel cold. Your temperature will continue to drop when you get out so be prepared with warm layers, even on sunny days. Above all build up gradually and enjoy your
experience.

Consistency is the Key

Like all things in life, if you want to get good at something you need to practice regularly. Consistent, progressive practice is the one thing that will make you a better and more confident swimmer in the open water. Try and set some goals, even a relatively simple goal like “I want to be able to swim 750m front crawl non stop’. A more challenging goal like “Complete my first open water triathlon” or “Swim across lake Windermere” or even “Qualify for Kona Ironman” will give you every excuse to get out and swim.

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