Top 5 Skills to Learn for Open Water Swimming
If you're planning to dive into open water swimming, it's essential to learn some skills before you take the plunge. In this article, we'll discuss the top 5 skills you need to master to feel confident and safe while swimming in open water.
Comfortably Swim 400 Meters Non-Stop
Before you venture out into open water, you need to be comfortable swimming at least 400 meters non-stop. Unlike in a pool, you won't have walls to push off every 25 or 50 meters, so you'll be swimming more continuously. This means your arms won't get enough time to rest. Therefore, practicing swimming for a considerable distance without stopping is crucial.
When you're swimming in open water, you need to know where you're going. Sighting is the skill of lifting your head to spot your destination and then returning your head to a comfortable swimming position. You can practice this skill in a pool by trying to look at something, such as the clock at the end of the pool, and guessing the time. When you're sighting outside, try to pick something that's big and high up in the horizon, rather than a tree on a cliff, as it will be easier to spot.
Being comfortable treading water is a great skill to have when you're out in the open water. It can help you catch your breath, take in the landscape, or even recover from a cramp. Therefore, make sure you're comfortable treading water and not using up too much energy.
Bilateral breathing means being comfortable breathing both to your left and right. Practice breathing every three or five strokes in the pool. This will help you when you have choppy conditions with waves coming in, as you'll want to be comfortable switching which side you breathe on. Additionally, practice sighting on both arms as it will make it easier for you to swim straight.
Floating on Your Back
When you're in open water and get a cramp, you won't be able to tread water. Therefore, being comfortable floating on your back is essential. It's a simple skill that can help you relax and recover from a cramp or catch your breath. Practice floating on your back in the pool before heading out to open water.
These five skills will help you feel confident and safe while swimming in open water. Make sure you practice these skills in a pool before heading out to open water. Also, eating a banana before swimming can help you prevent cramps, as it contains potassium. Remember to have fun and stay safe while swimming in open water.