Open water swimming tips

Open water swimming may beneficial to your training routine.

Open water swimming may beneficial to your training routine.

If you're interested in changing up your training routine, you may want to consider going on a few open water swims. While swimming in the ocean or a lake may not be feasible in certain parts of the country right now, its definitely doable if you live in a warmer climate. 

Before going on any open water swims, remember to keep the following tips in mind to stay safe: 

  • Consider wearing a wetsuit – The ocean may not the best place to don a racing swimsuit. A wetsuit may also be helpful if the water is a bit chilly. 
  • Know your limits - Don't try to swim in water that is too cold, as it can put your body into shock and possibly lead to cardiac arrest. Avoid jumping or diving into frigid water, and instead gradually enter the ocean or lake. 
  • Swim with a group - For your own safety, you should avoid swimming alone. There are numerous open water swimming groups around the country geared toward people of all ages and at all athletic levels. There's no reason why you can't find a partner. At the very least, you should enlist the help of a kayaker to serve as a guide. 
  • Review the weather forecast – You don't want to be stuck far from shore in the middle of a storm. Weather conditions can easily affect the water. 

Cross training in open water can help you with your fitness and form. Engaging in this kind of activity ultimately comes down to safety, however, so if you don't think you're prepared, it may be best to keep your swims in the pool.