Our Top Ten for the Open Water
Preparation is key; get your swim technique refined and rehearse it often enough before you hit the open water. In the open water all you want to concentrate on is open water skills and having fun not what your arms and legs are doing.
Swim with others/Buddy up; it’s more fun, you’ll have more confidence and reassurance
Self-talk is everything. If you say it often enough you’ll believe it… “The water is refreshing, invigorating and exciting” versus “The water is freezing and I’m scared”
Do some research or ask a local; measure the distance on a map (Judging distance over water is difficult), check the tides, ask about local hazards.
Be safe be seen; bright swim caps (orange, red, yellow, pink) and a Realswim bag make you more visible to other water users. Boat traffic / other water users are one of the biggest hazards to an open water swimmer.
Protect your heat; The only heat you’ll have when you get in the open water is the heat you take with you. Keep hats and shoes on until the last minute. Don’t stand around letting wind chill cool you down before you get in.
Have the right kit; Goggles that are comfortable and don’t fog, a swim suit or wetsuit that isn’t restrictive and fits correctly, these items can really affect the quality of your swim expereince.
Acclimatise; You will go from vertical in a full gravity environment to horizontal, low gravity and perhaps salt water if in the ocean. The difference in air temperature to water could be in the vicinity of 10 – 15C. Hold yourself back and allow the body to adjust to the new environment. It takes time.
Tell someone where you are going and if in doubt don’t go out; Leave your intentions with a family or friend. Deciding not to swim is perfectly OK. Always er on the side of caution.
Enjoy your swim; Do what makes you happy. Ocean or Lake swimming. Short or long distance. Stopping and enjoying the scenery. Swimming continuously and getting lost in the Zen like moment. Sharing a swim with a group. Find out what gets you most excited about open water swimming.