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Tips for Open-Water Swimming
Long-Distance Swimming

Tips for Open-Water Swimming 

Don’t do these bad habits when training for open water swimming.

Swimming in open waters or swimming in the sea is a little different than swimming in a pool, it is a matter of each person’s decision, with their due preparation and self-confidence.

In open waters, you change the technique without even noticing it, due to the waves, currents or simply the fact of swimming in a compact group with swimmers by your side, perhaps you don’t do the right stroke or get desperate to be ahead or turn the buoy first. Also you become disoriented for wanting to take care of the blows of other swimmers. Because of this you have to take care of the technique at all times while swimming, as if you were alone in a pool, there you avoid extra fatigue for each stroke you give.

Breathing must be done with a little more caution, paying attention to the waves that come towards oneself and breathing on the opposite side, thus avoiding drinking sea water or drinking as little as possible to prevent dehydration. Each time you drink water you lose oxygen so a change of the technique will help to avoid another intake of salt water.

Don’t apply these bad habits in your technique:

  • Breathe in every third stroke.
  • Hold your breath before expelling it.
  • Breathe through your nose.
  • Take several short breaths.
  • Rotate your hips too much.

Either if you are afraid of staying in the middle of the sea,  do not want to swim for fear of a cramp, or you feel fatigued in the middle of the sea, there is no reason to fear. Never rush, you can take a little break and go back to swimming like you did in a pool. Remember something “salt water helps your body float more.” You can take a rest, because your health and physical conditions come first. When you feel more recovered, continue.

Don’t do these bad habits when training:

  • Train at just one speed.
  • Do linear workouts
  • You swim only in open water.
  • Do long open water swimming sessions.
  • Start swimming 3-4 weeks before your competition.

Don’t do these bad habits in a race:

  • You compete with new goggles and wetsuit without trying them first.
  • Wear a wetsuit that is very tight at the shoulders.
  • You swim without a proper stretching.
  • Start ahead if you are not a fast swimmer.
  • Start with a sprint if you are not ready to do it.

Just like swimming in a pool, you should avoid rushing and not lose your cool. Relying on technique is also used a lot here (thus avoiding fatigue,  getting desperate and losing unnecessary energy).

Images: External Sources

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