Ocean swimming tips for beginners:
Open ocean swimming just SOUNDS intimidating, however trying to imagine how one would feel on race day when you’re no longer in the safe confines of the pool, you now have outside influences from the current, temperature and the anxiety of other swimmers up in your space might almost be too much to bear. However, with a little practice, and using some of these handy tips and tricks, we hope to flip your ocean swimming experience from intimidating to exhilarating so you can take on the Cole Classic without fear!
Here are a few handy hints and training tips that we believe can improve your overall performance in anticipation of race day, whether you’re aiming to shave a few minutes from your PB, or simply reduce your race anxiety to a more manageable state, take a few of these on board both in the lead up to your event AND on race day and you’ll be heading in the right direction.
1. Get a Coach or find a swim squad to train with – There are many out there, but engaging a pro can help you work on the basics, from how to breathe in open water to perfecting your technique
2. Swim with a mate – Not only can be great for moral support, but they can also help you get used to being splashed or copping an elbow to the face when race day arrives
3. Train in open water – No pool can rival the tumultuous nature of the ocean, it will get you used to the elements you will face such as changing tides, choppiness and the COLD that often a pool can’t prepare you for.
4. Goal Setting – Set some realistic goals and track them. Be realistic about the improvements you wish to make at every training session not only to track your progress but also to ensure you are challenging yourself along the way
5. Learn your course – whether its inspecting the buoy positioning or checking the conditions regularly, know the course before you enter the water, to help with your confidence as well as your positioning when you enter the water.
6. Know your safe stroke – In the event something goes wrong, it’s always good to have a stroke to help get you back on track to avoid having a full-on anxiety attack 100m from shore. Remember, you can’t touch the bottom – so what’s your plan?
7. Find your rhythm – Slow and steady may not always win the race, but you need to find what works for you. If this means hanging back a little to allow you to find not only your pace but your SPACE this should set you up for a successful race.
8. Enjoy the chaos! Ocean Swimming is both challenging AND fun, whilst conditions can be tumultuous, once you’ve found your place and your pace, you will really enjoy yourself. The sense of achievement at the other end is an unrivalled feeling so embrace and give it your all!