Open water swim tips
Getting started: Be prepared!!
1. 2 x swim hats ( ideally silicone)
2. 2 x goggles- one set of clear goggles and one darker pair, your pair of choice depending on the weather on the day
3. Wetsuit + tri suit or under gear-such as a rash vest or compression top
4. Body glide or wetsuit friendly creams to help with getting it on and off + around the neck for friction
Training for open water Triathlons or swims
1. Never ever swim alone, if your part of a group operate in a buddy system, choose a partner of equal swim ability, or if you’re not confident enough ask a senior member to swim with you for the first session
2. Never ever panic, if you get into trouble at any stage, roll over on to your back tilt your head to the sky and kick your legs gently, put your hands out and scull gently the wetsuit will help keep you afloat, while you re-catch your breath to swim on
3. If you get into trouble or difficult, follow the above steps and then raise your arm with a closed fist, the swim instructor or if in a race, support crew will come to you and assist you.
1. When training for open water sessions, do what you do in the pool, don’t change your stroke
2. Learn to sight and learn a sight rhythm, a sight rhythm is a routine that you don’t break of looking up for direction; it is different for a lot of swimmers. Some swimmers like 6 or 12, this can depend also on the weather conditions also but experiment, see what rhythm suits you and stick to it.
3. With your swim buddy, take turns practicing drafting, and the uglier side of open water racing being swam upon. On drafting, practise side drafting and drafting on feet.
4. In training get used to being beat up a bit, find a group or a few friends and practise mass starts to a buoy, practise pulling at each other ( try not to be too mean , but get used to this, so when it comes to racing there will be no panic attacks)
Training for the beginner
Racing for the beginner
Choosing races according to ability-we are lucky to have lots of different races on our racing calendar, that suit beginner athlete’s with weaker swims, for example Carrick on suir or Cahir Tri 3 race. A lot of races now also carry Tri a Tri races with shorter distances also, so make sure.
Beginner swimmer training starts in the pool, getting things right there will really help with both confidence and open water swimming ability
Things you will need to be able to do before you can race
1. Float!! Practices floating both on your back and on your front. Remember that your wetsuit will aid you as you float in the open water, but you must be able to float on you back with confidence in the pool, before hitting the open sky views on race morning.
2. Frontal floating with front scull action, you will need a swim instructor, senor swimmer to demo this to you or alternatively YouTube will give you a good demo.
3. Sighting practice in the pool, practices sighting by using your water bottles
4. Close your eyes, as a pool swimmer you will get used to swimming by the black line on the pool floor, see how many times you can swim a length of the pool be it a 25m or 50m without banging off the lane ropes!!
5. In the pool with another beginner triathlete use the lane to practice swimming alongside one another, get used to your stroke being disrupted and getting the odd thump
6. Learn to incorporate your sighting and your breathing into the one stroke,( this is the topic of a further review on this site later)
7. Make sure that before you enter a race you can swim the distance in the pool.
8. Make the transition from pool swimmer to open water swimmer with the help of a senor swimmer/instructor/open water swim class in a beginner swimmer friendly area