I know we’re all dedicated pool swimmers during Oct through to May but there is the opportunity to try out and practice open water swimming locally during the summer. I’ve only been open water swimming for training and in triathlons for a couple of years and like many my first experience was daunting. I thought a few experiences may help others yet to try out this activity.
- Buy a good fitting wet suit and swim cap (maybe neoprene) – ideally at a tri shop but I did buy mine on line and its been fine. Wet suits give extra buoyancy which is good for us guys in particular who drop our legs.
- Go with a friend firstly. That is someone who’s more experienced than you!
- There are 3 local lakes I’ve swam in during training – Ragley, Upton Warren and Top Barn but my favourite by some way is Ragley lake. This has been open on Tuesday evenings and Sunday morning for the last few years during the summer season.
- Take note of distant landmarks – eg large tree – to aid sighting
- Aclimatise to the water when you get in.
- Take your time during the first lap – slow strong strokes and practice sightings. I alternate two and four strokes and sight every six strokes.
- Stay clear of a crowd to start with when you start off
It soon becomes your favourite swim of the week and a sense of freedom and being on the open air in good weather is really invigorating.
Maybe see you there in 2016 summer season (but definitely not before!)