Open water swimming for beginners
Open water swimming offers a number of benefits; It can improve your mental health, sleep, and circulation, as well as boost your metabolism and boost your immune system. In addition, it offers the opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors and discover a side of nature that you have never seen before.
We’ve put together a beginner’s guide for those just beginning their open water journey to better prepare beginners for the world of open water swimming.
The main differences between open water swimming and pool swimming are that there are no walls to push off from, the lack of swim lanes to ensure you swim in the right direction and not touch the bottom. With time and practice, these are differences you can get used to. You can adapt to these differences by practicing the following techniques:
As mentioned earlier, there are no lanes or train lines in open water to point you in the right direction. In order to lead yourself in open water, you must learn to see. It just means that as you swim, you practice looking ahead to find a “marker” in the distance to guide you. Most people spot a tree or small landmark and use that as a guide as to where to swim. You can practice this in a pool by focusing on a spot on the wall at the end of the lane you are in. Another useful training technique to try in an open water swimming pool is to try to swim in a straight line as much as possible. In open water triathlons, you’re bound to make left or right turns and bump into other triathletes, so it’s a good idea to develop your awareness while swimming in the pool beforehand. When practicing this in open water for the first time, swim close to shore until you get it right, then venture further into the water.
When swimming in open water there are no walls to push off or hold on to. Therefore, if you are in a lake or ocean, you will likely be treading water frequently, so it is best to practice treading water in the deep end of the pool.
Open water swimming events often require participants to flip a water buoy, sometimes more than once in a race. You can practice this in open water once you’re comfortable, but it’s a good idea to try it in a pool too – if you have the space. If you’re practicing this in a pool, it’s important to make sure you don’t touch the walls or bottom of the pool. Practice this in open water by swimming around water buoys when it’s safe, or if you’re swimming with a friend use each other as markers to swim around.
In open water, breathing on alternate sides is the most commonly recommended breathing technique. It probably won’t feel natural at first, so again, practicing this in a pool is a good idea. It is recommended that you learn to breathe out of the direction of the waves to reduce water intake.
As you breathe bilaterally, rotate your head and spine with your shoulders, inhale, and then rotate your face along with your next shoulder rotation.
Essentially, the easiest way to breathe in open water is to breathe in through the mouth and breathe out with the head submerged without breathing to the side. Do what feels most natural to you and what makes you feel most confident. It’s a good idea to try many different techniques during your workout and recognize that your preferred breathing technique will change as you swim at different speeds and intensities.
In open water you need a stroke with a slightly higher stroke frequency than in the pool. This helps you maintain momentum when you’re in choppy waters.
Front crawl is the most common stroke among open water swimmers, so it’s a good idea to make sure you’re comfortable with this stroke and can maintain it for long periods of time. Ultimately, you need to be comfortable with the shots you choose.
There are other techniques that save more energy than front crawl, such as B. Breaststroke, which can help you when you are in a situation where you need to conserve energy. Therefore, it is recommended that you familiarize yourself with other striking techniques.
There you have it! Hopefully, with these swimming tips in mind, you’ll feel safe as you take the plunge into the open water. Make sure to share your outdoor swimming adventures with us on our social networks.