Open-Water Swimming Preparation

Greg McDonough Race Day, Training Leave a Comment

Open-water swimming is its own animal.  We never experience the wind, waves, currents, and crowds during our training sessions in the pool.  Which makes it very important to be able to adopt your swim stoke to the condition you face during your open-water swims.

Here are a few helpful tips to get you through some difficult open-water conditions.

Crowded Starts

  • try a quicker cadence to give you more agility to weave through the crowds
  • keep your head slightly out of the water to help with sighting and to avoid a kick to the face

Strong Currents

  • when swimming in strong currents it is important to remember that you would prefer to be upstream versus downstream when you arrive to the swim exit
  • over compensate for the current over the first half of your swim.  Try to be the outermost swimmer and then enjoy the downstream momentum when you approach the swim exit

Choppy Conditions

  • bring your hand out of the water at a higher angle so you can avoid slamming your hand against a wave
  • breathe to the side that is with the waves to avoid an unexpected mouthful of water
  • try to tuck your chin into your shoulder while breathing so your back and arm shield you from the wind and spray

Crazy Ivans

  • these are the people swimming around you who suddenly swim across your line.  They come out of no where and almost t-bone you.
  • either pick up the pace or drop off.  My preference is picking up my pace for 50 arm strokes.

Please share your preparation tips for difficult open-water swimming conditions.