Master Open Water Swimming for Triathlon

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How to Master Open Water Swimming

Even the best pool swimmers can have challenges when they swim in open water. Open water swimming requires excellent swimming skills and the ability to navigate through the currents, or surf. As a triathlon competitor, you must work to excel in the pool and in open water.
When a swimmer competes in a pool, the fastest swimmer wins. But in open water swimming, that rule is not necessarily applicable. The open water surf can often disrupt even the most technically accurate swimming stroke.

In addition to the surf, there are also other factors that a triathlete must contend with in open water swimming, including:

  • Differences in climate or water temperatures
  • Waves
  • Choppy water due to wind
  • Under water currents
  • Other competitors swimming next to you- in a pool, lanes separate the swimmers

These are just a few of the factors that the best pool swimmers must learn how to combat to be competitive triathletes. The only way to prepare for these factors is to practice in open water while training for your race.

To increase your open water skills, train in the pool and in open water during your training season. When selecting an open water area in which to train in, choose one that has a decent level of surf. Also, search for an area where there is a sandy beach, to practice getting in and out of the water. You may also want to consider training during different weather conditions. After all, you cannot control the weather on the day of your triathlon competition! It is better to be over prepared than under prepared for your swim.

By taking the time to train out of the pool and under the circumstances mentioned, you will be positioning yourself ahead of the majority of the competition. While it is still crucial to work on technique and endurance in the pool, training in open water will make you a better triathlon swimmer.