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9 Open Water Swimming Tips | Swim Skills For Beginners

9 Open Water Swimming Tips | Swim Skills For Beginners

– Open water swimming
can be a bit daunting for new triathletes, but once you take the plunge I guarantee you’ll be hooked. – We’re here at Colonia
Sant Jordi in Majorca home to the Best Swim Centre. It’s a stunning location,
perfect for a training session. – So today we’re going
to bring you top tips for beginning your open water journey. (energetic music) – Firstly equipment is essential for your enjoyment and
safety in the open water. It’s important to have a
suit that fits you well otherwise you could be fighting it or be carrying a tonne of water in it. And honestly there is nothing worse than having a load of
water sloshing around inside your wet suit. Also make sure that you can be seen. Today I’m swimming close to a support crew but normally I would wear
a brightly coloured hat. This is especially
important if there are boats or watersports happening in the area. Now you’re swimming in the open water where visibility and sighting is crucial so make sure that you
wear a good set of goggles so that you can see the buoys
and course markers ahead. (energetic music) – Health and safety is paramount
in open water swimming. Now we all have a bit of wild swimming but really you should
try and find a suitable swimming venue with open water testing otherwise you could be doing
a bit more harm than good. And another thing to remember, try and swim with others or at least have a spotter on the side. And most venues make
this a rule now anyway. – Before you launch
yourself into the open water try familiarising yourself with the course that you’re about to undertake. And perhaps take a look at the entrance and exit points and make a mental note of any areas that you may need to avoid. (dramatic music) – Warming up before open water swimming can help get the muscles working. It can be quite hard to
get warm in open water especially when it’s cold so limbering up can really make a difference. A few press-ups or arm
swings should do the trick. – Still to this day I
will quite often jump in the open water and
feel like I can’t breathe. Now if the water’s cold, this
is simply due to the fact that it’s a shock to your body. So I suggest sitting
on the edge, like I am with my feet in the water and splashing a little
bit of water at your face. This will just get you
used to the cold water before you fully jump in. – Following on from this, you should enter the water slowly, giving your body time to adjust to the change in temperature. A good way to relax is by lying on your back, taking some deep breaths. This is really helpful with
controlling your breathing and making sure you’re very relaxed. – Hopefully this isn’t
something any of you will need but should you find yourself in difficulty in the deep water just roll
yourself onto your back as we’ve just described then put your hand in the air and wave to catch someone’s attention. This just keeps you in a nicely buoyant and relaxed position
whilst making you obvious. – I understand that open water swimming can feel a little daunting but it’s easy to start building confidence by just taking it one step at a time. A really good starting
point is to fully submerge whilst blowing bubbles. This technique might sound odd but controlling your breathing whilst fully submerged should really help with your confidence. – Start off slowly and make sure you don’t rush straight into a long swim especially if you’re unsure
about the open water. Aim for a buoy that’s not too far away and then once you’re at that buoy, take a little time, have a little breather before you decide whether
you want to carry on or come back to the shore. – Last but not least, enjoy it. Open water swimming can
be exciting, exhilarating and it will leave you with
a huge sense of achievement. – And to see more videos from us you can subscribe to GTN
by clicking on the globe. And to see our top triathlon tips just click up here. – And for a video on
cycling skills click here. – Let’s go Heather. – Let’s do this.

93 thoughts on “9 Open Water Swimming Tips | Swim Skills For Beginners”

  1. For cold water the best advice I got for getting in was to put your face in the water and blow bubbles to get breathing under control. It's good this tip was in the video!

  2. Safety buoys are fantastic – they provide some extra visibility, flotation if needed, and you'll have somewhere to store your keys and stuff. I've hung on to mine during cramps, really glad I had it then.

  3. I'm surprised that you did not mention open water swim buoys like the ISHOF Safer Swimmer. Great for solo open water swims and one doesn't have to worry about one's valuables since they can be stored inside the buoy.

  4. Hi I'm having a Olympic distance triathlon this Sunday (in 2 days) in Austria and it looks like the weather will be awful (max 18 degrees, +20km/h wind and slight rain). This is going to be my 2nd race and I have never even trained this kind of bad conditions, and I'm nervous. I need some tips to survive. please help.

  5. I find swimming in a pool relitively easy, however when I'm in open water my heartrate rockets and I struggle controlling my breathing. Is this adrenaline or do I need more familiarization in open water?

  6. Hi! I really enjoyed your video about open water swimming! Can you also do one about wetsuit maintenance and repair? – I´ve just found two places where my wetsuit suffered small cuts….

  7. only been swimming properly for about a year. got faster in the pool and and done a couple of open waters. set myself a 2017 target of Alcatraz swim in San Fran 30 days to go. Great to see a good UKtri channel with regular content. rob

  8. As open water long distance swimmer i was scared for this video BUT it was really good one. Keep it up guys.
    And tell me how to start running. 🙂

  9. Thanks for yet another great video. Could you do one on bilateral breathing and sighting in open water? i.e in choppy conditions

  10. Awesome tips guys!! Thanks for creating this channel.
    I have a question that I would like to ask – In a pool, I can swim for hours without any issues but during training in open-water, my feet usually start cramping after 40-50 mins.Are there any trips or tricks to avoid it?

    And lastly, can you please make a video on how to avoid swimming and running related injuries

    Thanks and keep up the good work! Cheers

  11. Another good video. I'm looking forward to other videos on how to navigate a swim course (finding shortest line, especially when it's harder to sight because of choppy water) effective sighting technique, tips for how to prevent goggles from fogging up (aside from putting a small amount of water in your goggles – which works well for clean fresh water swims but not in other cases). In addition to Mark's suggestion about putting feet in the water – I find that standing in the water to waistline level and then splashing water on your face and the back of your neck will really help to get your body acclimatized to the water temperature.

    I would recommend that everyone swim with some kind of swim buoy. It is very easy to make one out of a pool noodle and some inexpensive cord and a tri race belt that should cost no more than $10. The pool noodle is bright, and of course, you can sit on it or hold it if you need a rest, get a cramp, or just want to chill out and enjoy the view! Watch for a picture of mine into the tri DIY!

  12. GTN being from Australia – you never mentioned be aware of Sharks ?? or Ocean Conditions, Swell, Currents and Waves ??? 🙂

  13. It would be great if you could give some tips how to swim with waves. I trained a lot in pool and couple of times outside(calm lake) before my first triathon but on competition day there was heavy wind on lake with short frequent waves and it was really difficult to breathe. In theory swimming in sea with bigger waves should easyer because you can time you breathing according to waves, but with short and frequent wave I found it really difficult.

  14. Can we have a segment on heart rate based training such as finding max HR, lactate threshold and how to really tune in on how to use heart rate training? Most triatheletes have a GPS capable watch providing training data and would like to reap full benefits from it.

  15. Open Water Swimming is Mallorca is very nice… but can you also give us some tipps on doing the same in for instance the Baltic sea, where visibility is basically zero, the sea can be pretty rough and the temperature maybe pretty cold even during summer time?

  16. So, why do contradict your own advice about swim caps? I would think that the GTN caps would be the bright colors your recommend we wear in the open water.

  17. Great tips heather and mark! I went on a mass learning journey starting about a year ago to get ready for ironman 70.3 and you guys have some great pointers here that resonate. Addl ones to consider for next top skills are bilateral breathing in case of waves/swells, swimming amongst a pack of competitors, swim buddy (safety buoy for solo open water swims), and body glide for wetsuit chaff avoidance:)

  18. Any tip when swimming on open water with moderate to strong waves? I actually signed up for a triathlon last sept.02 but got wasted on the water due to the strong waves and I had to exit early (didn't wanna risk my life battling it). Its my first time actually encountering that. I'm from the Philippines by the way and have been checking out your content ever since the channel was advertised on GCN!

  19. Can only swim in open water at the moment, no good indoor pools big enough or near enough. Some great tips I'll take on board. The lying on your back is a great one, always find it a problem in winter, no matter how many times you swim it still takes your breath away. Another great video guys.

  20. I don't know how it is in other countries. But, in Denmark there a lots of Facebook groups helping to find swimming buddies.

  21. Hi there! Just a question.. swim goggle strap inside the head cap or outside the head cap? Which one is better? Its like sunglasses' arm over or under the helmet strap.. hoping to heat back.. thanks!

  22. Hi GTN team, I'm a recent convert from GCN.
    I just completed my first triathlon and come away with some questions I would love you to help us Tri-newbies.
    1 – How do I stop myself getting neck-rash from my wetsuit?
    2 – How do I most effectively/easily wash my wetsuit after an event to keep it clean?

    Love to have your feedback, I'm sure it will help a lot of other GCN converts and Triathlon newbies.
    Thanks for all your top tips, it certainly helped – I managed a full Olympic distance in my first Tri in sub 3-hrs! 🙂

  23. Is there any places in brisbane or gold coast that we can practice open water? As in similar to the place in the video?

  24. Did you make a video on how to choose a wetsuit ? I'm planning to buy my first one and I'm looking for advice. I live in Belgium and I will mostly use it in the spring and the summer when I don't play rugby ?

  25. I was not able to swim for many years do to holes in my ears do to tubes falling out. I had surgery to close the holes in 2015. Since then, I have gotten practice in a friends reservoir. One of the things I do to make sure I am calm in the water is slowly walk in. another thing I do is go under water. The reason I do this is so I can stay calm even if I go under bye accident. I feel much more confident afterwords.

  26. Quite useful indeed but you missed the actual race. I had my first start a few week ago, I thought i'd die several time.
    The main challenge is to manage the fight with the other for a space at the surface of the water. Any tip for this?

  27. I swam far out in the Black Sea. It was during a vacation in Bulgaria. The jellyfish really freaked me out. There were lots of them. Slimy things touching me. Had no wetsuit. Never panic is important but that was close. It was at least 300 meters to the shore.

  28. Где перевод ебанна в рот. Хули название на русском

  29. Hey I was thinking of a huge triathlon one that couldn't be beaten and I was thinking swim across the channel from Dover to Calais then cycle to perpignan in the south of France which is about 1350 miles then run to Barcelona which is about an extra 200/250miles do you think this would be possible if so how long do you reckon it would take

  30. Im a bike rider and a runner. Ive just moved to Dublin where there is a great deal of opportunities to swim by the sea. Which i enjoy. I'm a little scared of jellyfish! 🙁 any advice

  31. In English, the mother tongue which has been around for a while buoy is pronounced the same as boy not booee which is a foreign corrupted pronunciation. LOL LOL LOL.

  32. you guys are great have applied these techniques today in the lake hadn't swam for a few weeks it was at least 800m was a bit up and down , not used to a wetsuit and with limited range of motion in my elbows, shoulder injuries was ok on my way back I relaxed a lot and did nice long easy strokes making sure to keep an eye where I was going but loved it and plenty of people at the lake so was good love the advice thanks From Christchurch, New Zealand.

  33. I need to get out in open water more often.. I don't want my upcoming triathlons to be the first times I get into open water! Nice tip about wearing a brightly coloured cap though when swimming in uncontrolled open water – I hadn't ever thought about that!

  34. Shark food, what shark food. Hehehe. I do not think so. Nope, nope, I dont go swim with the sharkies. Hehehe. Just facing my fears

  35. Love your guys's definition of cold water. Come join me for a hyperventilating jump in Lake Superior as your body adjust to the cold.

  36. I would like to reiterate STRONLY what was said: you need to do practice swims in the actual race setting. If your race will be the first time you will ever swim in the ocean and all your training swims were in a pool, well, you're making a foolish mistake! However, if you have no choice and there is no feasible way you can get in some practice swims day[s] before the race, then choose a race where the swim is a 1/2-kilometer long or less. Then, only do the race if you can maintain a pace in a pool that is at least two minutes per ever hundred meters. (I have done eleven Alcatraz crossings and Ironman VII) these guys at GTN are really good and giving great advice.

    Evidence: a good athlete knows when to quit. At the 2018 Nautica Triathlon in Malibu, dozens of swimmers could not make it to the first buoy and several were rescued due to strong swells and many did not bother to swim it. Be competent at all three events:

  37. I never have or want to win to a Triathlon in my life but one day I want to participate in to and hopefully finish at a impressive time to me at least one day hopefully let’s see.

  38. 1-enjoy it
    2-if are in trouble flout on your back and wave by your hand
    3-warm up
    4-have spotter never swim alone
    5- suitable wet suite
    7-don't go for the long run directly
    8-blowing bubbles for confident
     9- drop you body temperature slowly feet in water splash some water on you face

  39. I did my first Sprint distance last Sunday. It went really well except I was disgusted by the taste/quality of the water.
    I used to swim a lot between the ages of 8 and 16 and never thought about not opening my mouth underwater and how to prevent water slowly coming into my nose. It never bothered me. But with water smelling and tasting like sewers I'm disgusted!
    Do you have any tips on how not to get any water in at all?

  40. This was an awesome video! I was lucky enough to get in a few open water swims before my first triathlon. The water was nothing as nice as what you guys have in this video, though. In my practice and the triathlon, the water was so muddy and dark I couldn't even see my hands! The practice really paid off though, because my first swim I was thrown off by "wait, there's no walls, there's no lane markers! It's so cold! It's so deep! I CAN'T SEE!" But by the the time I got to the tri, I was expecting it all and was at least somewhat confident. Thanks GTN!

  41. Here's a safety tip! If you are already wearing a black wetsuit (which i still can't workout) don't wear a black cap as well! Wear a bright yellow or white! Something any boater will be able to see! Swimming wetsuit manufacturers why can't you put some noticeable colours in your designs!

  42. Im a runner and i want to try some shorter triatlon just for fun, i havent really ever swam for more than 100m in my life in what you would call 'race tempo' so im pretty scared if i will make the swim

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