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Tips for practising in open water

You should have been practising your open water and swimming skills in the pool. Now it’s time for getting out there and practising in open water.

First of all, you need to ensure you have the correctly sized wet suit. If you have bought a wetsuit, practise putting it on at home.

If you can, enter the water for five minutes before your training or race so you can fully acclimatize to the conditions.

Also, remember to wear two swimming hats in the water to prevent cold water getting in your ears.

Practising in open water

In open water events, starts can be in the water or diving from a pontoon. Follow these three steps to practise your start in the water.

  1. Lie flat in the water, gently kicking your legs. Use your hands to scull, which will assist in keeping your upper body still and in the correct position.
  2. Once the starting signal has sounded you will be in a good position to get a fast and efficient start.
  3. Do at least six strokes before you take your first breath as this will help increase your speed at the start.

Open water training session

If you are a newcomer to open water swimming, you should find an organised training session in your area. Never practise in open water by yourself.

An organised session will give you access to changing and showering facilities, a coach, an open water course and safety procedures.

The session will be determined by the coach taking the session, and may include some of the following:

  • starting
  • pack swimming
  • drafting
  • sighting
  • turning
  • finishing.