6 Tips for open-water swimming beginners #HumbertChallenge

May 17, 2016

Open Water Swimming Tips for Beginners and More Experienced

We’re getting closer and closer to getting in the water at Lake Callow… Here are a few tips for before and when you get there + doing a great job at the Humbert Challenge – whether it’s the Sprint or Half-Iron

By now you should have been practicing your stroke and getting some lengths in at the pool – now’s the time to transfer those skills to open water.

1. Overcoming Fear

Just think of the Lake as a gorgeous outdoor pool (which it effectively is); it will be marked with buoys and is fully supervised by Kayackers.

The best way of overcoming any fears that you may have are to practice, practice, practice. And to do this just come to our swim sessions at the lake – Watch this space!

2. Get your equipment organised

The barest minimum to get swimming in the lake is:

• Wetsuit
• Goggles
• Swim hat (neoprene)
• Towel

Other items that will come in useful are:

• Suitable shoes to walk down to lake edge
• Buoyancy aid if weaker swimmer

Make sure everything fits and doesn’t leak – again the training sessions at the Lake will help you get everything together, practiced and perfect. Use these sessions to try out different things.

3. Too little or too much sighting.

You need to be gently lifting your head to the front as you are about to breath and sighting the buoy every 25-50 metres. Count the number of strokes when you’re in the pool and then sight the buoys when you’re in the Lake at the same count. Sighting this way will keep you on course – it’s very easy to go off your ‘line’ and end up swimming further than you need.
Too much sighting [more experienced]

The opposite of 3. for more experienced swimmers is too much sighting will cause a drop in the hips, together with the front arm and a massive drop in speed.

4. Learn to breath [more experienced]

You’re lucky that the lake is very calm and obviously without waves but it can get ‘busy’ at the start and there may be people swimming alongside you. To counteract any water intake – learn to swim bilaterally – that is on both sides of your body.

The video below from VideoJug explains this technique:

5. Warm-up before hand

It sounds countertintuitive if you’ve got a long day ahead of you; but take the sudden rush of coldness away by warming up for 10-15 minutes in the water before any race. If you can’t do this do some hand/arm/shoulder rotations as a minimum.

6. Have fun and enjoy the experience

There’s nothing that can beat the exhiliration and fun of swimming outdoors – Try it ! Even if you’re not doing the Triathlons – you can join as a guest and give it a go!

Book mark this website or keep up to date on our FaceBook Page – swim sessions starting VERY soon!


Please note this advice is for general guidance only and designed for those of moderate fitness and overall good health. They should be tailored to your specific strengths and weaknesses.

If you are starting a fitness regime for the first time or have not been physically active for a period of time and/or if you are in any doubt about your general health and fitness you should seek Medical Advice before commencing your training programme.

About The Author


SwinfordTriathlon.com web admin

Leave a Reply