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Pool or Open Water?

I often get asked which I prefer “pool or open water swimming?” My answer is simply “both”, often I will get asked for a more definitive answer.

The pool offers me a chance to swim without the hassle of waves, current, sharks or the risk of getting run over by a boat or jet ski. I can work on my technique, my fitness and my speed in an environment that provides few distractions. My swimming definitely would not be where it is today without the work and laps I have invested in the 100’s of pools around the world over my lifetime.  Racing in a swim pool allows me to test my speed and endurance in a controlled environment without interference from outside factors. Pools provide convenient, easy swimming, and a great social environment for swim teams and social swimmers.

How on earth would I appreciate the chlorine free environment of the ocean, rivers or lakes without having spent so much time in a pool?

I truly appreciate the freedom of open water swimming after having spent so many 1000’s of kilometres staring at that black line on the bottom.  Open water swimming lets you put into practice all the technique and skills learnt in the pool. The fresh air, weather, currents and tides, location, scenery and wildlife provide additional challenges to keep your swimming interesting and keep you enthused and energised. What joy it is to be able to swim 3 or 5 or 10km without a single tumble turn. To have a dolphin come for a look see or a bird swoop down to admire your swimming prowess!

Yes the answer for me is definitely “both”.

So ladies and gents which do you prefer Pool or Open Water? Happy swimming, Dan

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