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Swim confident in the sea

Sea Swimming Tips

Swimming in the pool is one thing. Swimming in the open water is another, especially the sea where you're unsure what is there

There are a few different aspects to swimming in the sea that you need to be aware of, but for now, how about you just get in – get used to being in the open water if it’s not something you have done for a long time. (Make the most of our Sea Swim sessions)

Try things out.

  • Try out your goggles, the wetsuit you think you might use, or the clothing you may wear for the swim portion of the triathlon.
  • Get rid of some of the anxiety around the open water that may exist the first few times you get in. Get under the water before you even attempt to swim.
  • You need to get acclimatised to the water temperature which can quite literally take your breath away if it’s cold.

Then, once you are feeling ok, breathing is under control, try some swimming.
Safety is important here:

  1. Always swim where you can stand up, especially if swimming alone
  2. Try not to swim alone if you can help it, even if it’s just someone on the shore keeping an eye on you
  3. Wear a bright swim cap so other water users can see you
  4. A tow float is a fantastic 

As with anything you are trying for the first time, it may feel awkward, scary, uncomfortable and cold! BUT, keep at it, consistency is key when training for a triathlon. Do the small things to make it easier on yourself?

Spend the summer holiday season getting familiar with the surrounds of open water, whether that be in the sea, a river or a lake. Take your time and just RELAX

There is no end every 25 metres to have a rest and push off a wall. It just keeps going. That means you need to practise this as it can be a lot harder than the pool as you aren't resting every length or so. 

 There is no black line on the bottom of the sea to make sure you are going straight. You need to be able to lift up and look forward to see where you are going. Sometimes it is easier to sight something that is higher up above where you want to go, as the swim buoy you will be swimming to isn't so visible from further away. Basically, look ahead every few breathes to check you are on the right track. You can practise this in the pool also.

Some things to consider...

  • The sea is salty and maybe a little bit wavey and might have "things" in it - all of this can cause anxiety and even panic. If you start to feel panicked and short of breath, just roll over onto your back and float to catch your breath OR simply stand up! The swim course for this triathlon is parallel to the shore in water shallow enough to stand up in.
  •  A wetsuit will help you float as well as take a little bit of chill out of the water. For shorter triathlon events such as this, you can wear any type of wetsuit you like, so long as it fits snuggly & doesn't fill up with water - if it's too big it will become very heavy lugging all that trapped water with you as you swim. You don't have to wear a wetsuit, it just might help ease some anxiety if you have a little extra help from one.
  •  Get acclimatised to the water temperature by getting under the water before the start gun goes, take some deep breathes and get ready to go.
  • Put some baby oil all over your feet & in between your toes so that the sand doesn't stick when you come out of the water. By the time you get to your bike any remaining sand should have washed away.
  • RELAX... swimming is all about technique and holding your breath under water will not help. Blow the bubbles out under the water and breathe air in when you come up. It's hard work to try and do both all at once!
  • You will be starting the triathlon in waves of around 70 ladies. If you are really not confident or feel super anxious, just let them all go ahead of you and then start. A few seconds wait will be worth it to get your own space in the water.