OPEN WATER SWIMMING! Where do I start

Updated: Nov 14, 2019

So you have made the decision that you're going to do an open water event , wild swim, Ironman or triathlon. The triathlon can be pool based or open water.

It's all very exciting but you are filled with slight trepidation too and not sure where to start?



Make sure your first open water experience is amazing!


Kit List

  • Bright coloured swim cap

  • Goggles that don't leak

  • Tow float

  • Swimming costume

  • Swim towel

  • Flip flops

  • Warm layers for after your swim

  • Wetsuit that is designed for open water swimming

  • Waterproof bag to take wet wetsuit home in.

The bright coloured swim cap allows you to be seen by kayakers, boats, barges and lifeguards, it also helps with warmth. It's essential your googles don't leak. Not been able to see clearly to sight and constantly having to clear goggles of water is frustrating and annoying. Test all goggles in the pool. Tow floats allow you to be seen and stay safe. You can hang on them if you need to. Walking on stones with cold feet is not pleasant, so flip flops or crocs are great.


A wetsuit provides warmth and buoyancy but you should also consider the fit as it allows for efficient movement and for you to feel comfortable while swimming.


Tips for Wetsuit fitting

  • Snug fit but not tight

  • No folds or excess material

  • Shoulder mobility

  • Good fit around the neck so not feeling suffocated.

  • Arms and leg holes are snug to not let water into the suit.


Location to swim

I would highly recommend you choose a lake where the open water swimming is managed.

  • Stanborough Lakes

  • Denham Waterski

  • Boxend

  • Redricks

  • Merchant Taylors


Denham Waterski

Water temperature

Your first swim will always be cold. I would recommend not diving straight into the water. The cold water shock can be quite scary. A gradual walk into the water is the best. Acclimatise slowly before swimming the open water circuit.


Swim the distance in the pool

Make sure you can swim the the distance of your event in the pool. Having done the distance in the pool will give you the confidence to tackle the open water.


Practice, Practice,Practice!

With open water swimming the more often you do it, the easier it becomes.



Pool2lake Introduction Sessions

Pool2lake Open Water Training offer professional coaching which will help you transition from pool to open water with confidence. Training with an experienced open water coach will make all the difference to your open water experience. You get given practical tips and a better understanding of the open water techniques like sighting, drafting, stroke adaption and correct breathing. It's vital your first swim is a good one.


Don't give up after your first swim. Remember open water swimming a journey which takes time, determination and dedication.

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