Open Water Swimming – Important Tips for the Rookie Swimmers

In our beginner’s guide to open water swimming, you will know some tactics that are beneficial for all triathletes. Moreover, you will know what mistakes usually triathletes make that condenses the performance.

Apart from that, open water swimming has several benefits, and it’s the best workout for losing weight. So if you are planning to try open water swimming read our guide till the end to know each and everything about it.

Ready to have a look at the open water swimming tips? Let’s probe!

Is Open Water Swimming Similar To Pool Swimming?

No open water swimming is not similar to pool swimming. However, you can practice pool swimming because it is safe and provides the perfect environment. In fact, there will be no windy environment, and you can practice more confidently.

On the other side, the new swimmers can practice in the pool while keeping someone around to guide them correctly. You can hire a trainer or ask any friend to come along with you on the swimming session.

More than that, you need to bend the ankles and immobilize the legs to swim easily. Also, you have to know the right arm movement for swimming speedily and effortlessly. According to the recommendations of professional swimmers, you should use fewer legs to swim effortlessly.

How To Build Endurance For Open Water Swimming?

To build endurance before the open water swimming session, you can go swimming two times. Besides that, you can complete the open water swimming session easily by practicing in different weather conditions. 

However, it is challenging to swim in windy weather. Swimming in the pool could be three times easier than open water swimming. No worries, you can easily build up your stamina by taking more challenges in the pool.

Try to practice for a longer time so you can easily conquer the open water swimming time. According to a professional swimmer, Simonelli, you can lessen fatigue while swimming by going in the resting motion. In this state, you can complete the stroke with a minimal amount of force.

Warm-Up Before Open Water Swimming

Open water swimming warm up

It will be quite beneficial if you warm up before open water swimming. More than that, warming up before the triathlon swimming period for 10 minutes will boost up your energy as well. On the other hand, it will help your blood circulation to prepare for swimming.

Besides, you can try this trick before the triathlon race. We bet that you will have better performance while swimming.

Indeed, the warm-up session will let you know what the temperature of the water is. In addition, you will be more confident before the race starts. Best of all, the warm-up session will benefit beginners as well as expert swimmers.

Start Up Slow

Most of the beginner swimmers make a mistake by swimming fast in the beginning. However, it is a misconception that you can end the race quickly if you start swimming quickly. On the other side, you need to start slow, so your heartbeat doesn’t go high at the beginning of the race.

On top of that, you must keep the speed slow till 200 yards. Mostly, the swimmers will face difficulty, and you can easily compete with the others if you know how to start open water swimming. Those swimmers who start at a fast speed will get tired after 200 yards, and their heart rate will be at the peak.

Therefore, you don’t need to start swimming madly. Consider swimming at a slower pace and slowly increase the speed after you are in the rhythm. Indeed, you will have a superb swimming experience after trying this trick.

Take The Appropriate Position

You should know about your right position for open water swimming. For instance, it is better to position at the front and the middle. Moreover, you can easily compete with other players if you took the right position at the beginning of the race.

Besides, you can easily see the other swimmers when you are in the right position. Also, you will feel better when you are at the center of the swimming race. Other than that, you can easily catch up with the faster swimmers.

In addition to this, you must not swim outside because it will be tougher to see other swimmers. You will notice that most of the elite players will swim around you to keep an eye and compete in a better way.

What to Wear while Swimming in Open Water?

Here are the essentials before you go for open water swimming

  1. Swimming Hat
  2. Polarized Goggles for eye protection
  3. Ear plugs for safety
  4. Wetsuit (Men/Women)
  5. Neoprene Gloves
  6. A waterproof smartwatch
  7. Neoprene Socks

So, now you have a gear for swimming in open water.

Keep up the read for more information on wetsuits and choosing the swimming goggles.

Can You Swim in Wetsuit?

If you are an avid swimmer, a question may arise in your mind that you just read.

Since wetsuit is way too different than swimsuit, so here is your answer:

Yes, of course, you can swim in wetsuit.

Well, it depends what your concern is! Do you get cold in water? Is buoyancy your concern? Or you are new to triathlon.

Wetsuits provides warmth, buoyancy and speed. It’s upon you whether you choose sleeveless or full suit version.

As far as caring is concern, you should rinse in warm water as soon as you use it. Because, it is always a good practice to get rid of dirt, salt, and other contaminants found in the swimming water.

Open Water Swimming Wetsuit

Open water swimming wet suit

Do you have a wetsuit? If not, then have one. The wet suit will keep the body warm, and it will provide more enthusiasm while swimming. More than that, you will be swimming at the top of the water with less effort.

There are two types of swimming wetsuits available in the market. Mostly, the triathletes buy swimsuits that have full sleeves. However, the wetsuit with full sleeves is expensive than sleeveless ones. More than that, the professional triathletes will go with the full sleeves wet suits.

When a professional triathlete is allowed to wear a wetsuit in a race, she will go with a full wetsuit more times than not. Other than that, the sleeveless wetsuits will provide a more bounce feel to the swimmers.

However, the sleeveless wet suits will keep the arms of the swimmer restricted. Besides that, swimmers will feel comfortable wearing a wet suit while swimming in the pool or open water. A wetsuit is the essential open water swimming gear.

How To Choose The Goggles For Open Water Swimming?

Open water swim googles

There are different types of goggles in the market. So you need to choose the right size and shape of goggles. On the other hand, there are several colors available in the goggles as well. Besides that, pick the goggles for open water swimming according to the weather.

For instance, you have to choose the goggles that are clear for the cloudy weather. Further, the color of clear goggles will be light blue or yellow. On the other hand, you can choose brighter colors because it will make the vision clear and convenient to see.

In addition to this, the open water swimming challenge happens in the sunlight, and you need to buy bright color goggles for that. On the other side, you can purchase the goggles that have AND mirrored set because they will change the shade according to the weather condition.

Moreover, you need to buy an extra pair of open water swimming goggles if you accidentally lost or broke the goggles. Goggles are the most important open water swimming equipment.

Other Recommended Gear

How To Breathe While Swimming?

Breathing in open water can be trouble, especially for beginners. You can hit the windy waves in open water. Additionally, you will have an unpleasant smell that might force you to give up while swimming in open water. Therefore, it is highly crucial to know how to breathe while swimming. According to Simonelli

You need to know when to hold breath to reduce stress while swimming.

In addition, you can comfortably swim without any panic when you know the right time to hold your breath.

Additionally, you can build the swimming skill by practicing breathing in your swimming sessions. For instance, you can take three deep breaths while swimming on the right side. Also, take five lives on the left side. Next, you have to take eight breaths on the right side and then take four breaths on the left side.

Open water swimming benefits in several ways, and you can easily learn how to stop breathing for a long time.

How to Overcome the Fear of Surrounding Water?

You can overcome the fear of surrounding water by keeping the target in your mind. Indeed, you will be comfortable swimming when there are no fearful thoughts. In addition, you can practice swimming in the pool several times to reduce fear.

Also, try swimming at the open water ground pool. In fact, consider swimming at night, so you don’t fear the dark.

Furthermore, it would help if you broke the strokes to stay relaxed. Indeed, you will be experiencing better swimming if you start with the smaller strokes. And the best part? You will enjoy taking turns in the smaller strokes.

However, open water swimming for beginners can be tough, but they can become pro after knowing all these tips. As well, open water swimming for mental health is important. And the good news? Swimming can decrease depression, and it is the most healthy sports activity that will help you lose weight.

At the end of the day, practice is most important for beginner swimmers, so they don’t give up in the triathlon race.

How To Turn Over Without Touching Wall?

Most of the swimmers face difficulty while turning over from the wall. Usually, the swimmers have a habit of touching the wall and then turn.

However, there wouldn’t be any wall in the open water swimming race of the triathlon. So you have to practice how to turn over without touching the wall.

Is It Important To Vary The Stroke?

You need to vary the stroke style. For instance, you have to try the shallower strokes rather than, the longer one when the water is choppy. On the other side, you have to pull the arms deeply to stay on top of the water. 

The best way to avoid being tossed in the water is to do the shallow strokes. For example, you have to do the deeper pulls when the water is choppy and the weather is windy.

You can easily try to vary the swimming pool’s stroke, so you don’t face any difficulty during open water swimming.

How To Master Sighting?


You will not find any backstroke flags in the open water swimming area. None of the lakes have lanes mentioned. For that reason, you have to master the sighting. Furthermore, you have to search for the marks regularly, so it becomes easier for you to complete the race in the perfect direction.

When you reach the stroke, you can move the head to the right or left side to breathe. After that, you can move ahead, and don’t forget to lift down the goggles before moving towards the next stroke.

Your body might feel tired after completing a stroke, but you have the push yourself to finish the race. Furthermore, you have to exhale to move forward instead of inhaling. Also, you can take three strokes and then resume standard swimming.

How To Relax While Swimming?

It is essential to relax while swimming. However, the experience and feeling of swimming in a pool are different from open water swimming. You will have a different water temperature. For that reason, you need to wear an open water swimming wetsuit because it will warm the body.

The water temperature will vary from one region to another. Furthermore, the water temperature above 70 is normal for swimming. Other than that, the colder temperature below 60 will be difficult for the swimmers.

Most of the great lakes have a cold water temperature, and it is challenging for the swimmers mentally as well as physically.

Open water swimming dangers include cold water. Most of your muscles will be tightened when you start swimming in the cold water. In addition, you will have difficulty breathing in cold water. In this case, the wetsuit can be helpful. The response of tightened muscles will be less when the swimmer is wearing a full sleeves wetsuit.

You can reduce panic while taking cold baths. You can relax the body temperature. Still, cold showers cannot be an alternative to swimming in cold water. On the other side, you have to practice inhaling while taking cold showers.

Keeping your focus on breathing is quite helpful, and you can easily complete the open water swimming triathlon race.


Well, this was all about open water swimming. No one is born perfect, you have to dive in to overcome the fear. Remember, journey of thousand miles starts with a single step. So, don’t be afraid in taking your first step. At the end of the day, no one is going to it for you. You have to do it! Best of luck for your open water swimming race.

Open water Swimming Infographics

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