Open water swimming

Over recent years, the popularity of open water swimming as a pastime has grown (Swim England).  Following the amendments to the COVID-19 restrictions on 10 May (in England) once again, open water swimming is now a permitted form of exercise, with many venues operating under social distancing measures. So, with leisure centres still currently closed, open water swimming provides an opportunity for a vast number of individuals to re-establish their swimming activity. If you’re keen to develop your open water swimming, whatever your previous experiences, read on to find out how Tri and Run can help.

Open water swimming is any swimming in open water, rather than a managed swimming pool; lakes, rivers, reservoirs and the sea. It is a key part of the majority of competitive triathlons as well as being a sport in itself, with numerous distances available, for those wanting a water-only challenge. At Tri and Run, we can support and work with you in your engagement with open water swimming, whether for first timers or experienced triathletes.

So, what is the appeal of open water swimming? For many, open water swimming provides a sense of ‘freedom’, even at a managed open water venue – no lane ropes, no repetitive lengths and a change in the scenery, with often a change in actually how much you can see at all! Once settled into a rhythmic front crawl stroke in the body of the water, open water swimming provides a unique opportunity to be alone with your body and mind. There is no opportunity to interact with another else, at least by talking, no distractions by social media and the only sound is that of your breathing.  Open water swimming can provide a unique, almost meditative, opportunity for you to think, engage and push your body along with clearing and focusing your mind. Having a coach from Tri and Run can support you in developing your open water swimming, whether for a form of exercise or as a competitive sport.

Of course, open water swimming has its challenges and its own set of skill requirements. The sheer thought of open water swimming can induce anxiety in some, even seasoned triathletes, and that anxiety can be beforehand, on entering the water, or at that point of initial ‘uncomfortable’ transitioning into a steady-state of exercise, or the anxiety can occur at all of these. This can impact on performance and this is where having a set of mental strategies can be crucial, developed for you, based on you. This is something Tri and Run can assist you with through our coaching.

At Tri and Run we have experience of supporting a range of athletes from absolute beginner with no prior experience of open water swimming to experienced age group triathlete. So whether you’re interested in that first open water experience, wishing to master your sighting and race skills or overcoming that barrier which is preventing you rediscovering open water swimming, get in touch with Tri and Run.

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