Here are GTN’s top 9 open water swim skills for beginners. Open water swimming can be a bit daunting for beginner triathletes however, with these skills, you can learn to love the freedom of swimming outdoors!
Here are their 9 top tips for open water swimming:
– Equipment: Buy a wetsuit that fits well to prevent fighting it or carrying lots of water in it. Make sure you can be seen with a bright coloured hat and ensure you have a good set of googles to be able to see the course and any dangers ahead.
– Safety: This is paramount in open water swimming. Swim at a proper venue with water testing and make sure to swim with someone else or have a spotter on the side. Also, familiarise yourself with the course entry and exit point before jumping in.
– Warm up: It can be difficult to warm up when the water is cold so limbering up before can make a big difference. A few press ups and arm swings will suffice.
– Climatization: Sit on the edge with your feet in the water and splash some on your face to get your body used to the cold water.
– Lie on your back: Enter the water slowly to allow your body to get used to the temperature change. A good way to relax is lie on your back and take several deep breaths to control your breathing.
– Rescue: Should you find yourself in difficulty in deep water then roll on to your back and wave to catch someone attention.
– Confidence: Build confidence by taking it one step at a time. Step one is to fully submerge whilst blowing bubbles do ensure you can control your breathing.
– Start slowly: Don’t rush in to a long swim, especially if you are new to the open water. Swim to a buoy a short distance away, then take a break before continuing.
– Finally: ENJOY IT!