How to transition from the pool to open water swimming

Published On: May 22 2014 03:16:36 PM EDT

If you’re used to pool swimming but want to try swimming in the open water, try following these tips to help with the transition.

  • Learn to swim without looking at the bottom of the pool: One hard adjustment to outdoor swimming is learning to swim without using the lines on the bottom of the pool as a guide.
  • Practice starting from a standing position: Whereas you typically dive in to start a race in a pool, in open water swimming you usually start from a standing position as you’re running in the water from the shore.
  • Adjust to wearing a wet suit: Since the temperatures in outdoor swimming are less predictable it may be necessary to swim in a wet suit. You should try to test out the wet suit in a pool or in shallow water before going on a long open water swim in one.
  • Learn to adjust your speed, stroke: Open water swim races tend to settle in at a more relaxed pace than the sprints that can occur in the pool. Learn to adjust your speed and your starts before you participate in an open water event.


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