Conquer Your Fears: From Pool to Open Water

Open Water Swimming

Conquer Your Fears: From Pool to Open Water

Taking the first step from training in your local swimming pool to open water can be daunting. Open water swimming is a new challenge that can come with new fears including currents, waves, and the unknown lurking beneath the surface.

If you are nervous about taking the plunge, we have some advice to help make you feel a little more comfortable on the day…

Be Prepared

Do your research and make sure you have the right wetsuit. Lots of first-timers make the rooky mistake of wearing a surfing wetsuit, but these easily fill with water and drag you down rather than keeping you afloat.

Don’t Rush

To break yourself in gently, start by letting your body acclimatise to the water. Do not attempt to swim straight away! Instead, ease yourself in by getting used to putting your face in and out of the water. Try to relax, enjoy the water and move on to the next step only when you feel ready.

Take a Training Buddy

If you are nervous about approaching the water for the first time, go with somebody who is confident at swimming in open waters. Knowing that you’re with somebody experienced can help to relax you and you can rely on them for support.

Slow Your Stroke

Many people enter the water and immediately attempt to swim front crawl. For first-timers, this can result in arm thrashing, panicking and quickly running out of breath. Instead, try to slow your stroke until you find a comfortable pace and rhythm. A long stroke in a wetsuit will be far more effective.

Have A Backup Plan

Even after a few times swimming in open water, there may be moments when a backup plan is required. If panic creeps in and you begin to feel uneasy, the best option is to roll onto your back, remain afloat and focus on your breathing. Be aware of the currents and swells in the water and gently kick. Try again only when you have recomposed your breathing. Be sure to practice this technique in the shallows or in a swimming pool before race day.