A Transition From The Pool To The Open Water

A Transition From The Pool To The Open Water

If you are a pool swimmer and have lived your aquatic life entirely in the chlorinated capsule, there are two keys steps to expanding your repertoire to the open water.

Whether you are a young competitive swimmer or a neophyte adult swimmer, the first step to venture beyond the shoreline depends on your own inner desires. Even the best pool distance swimmers in the world cannot make the transition to the open water unless they really want to do so themselves. Your enjoyment and success in the open water depends entirely on you. Not your parents. Not your coaches. Not your friends.

If open water swimming is in your DNA, but still unleashed or undiscovered, you will eventually do what it takes to learn the tactics, techniques and training necessary to become an open water athlete. You will learn the camaraderie and be inspired by the enthusiasm of other open water swimmers. Whether it is just swimming past the waves or past waist-deep in a local lake, the first step is wanting to.

Go down to the seashore, head to the lake, join others at the bay – preferably on a calm day – and just talk to others and watch. No sweat, no worries, no pressure. Just observe what open water enthusiasts do and witness their joy.

If you are slower, wear fins. If you cannot stand the cold, wear a wetsuit. If you are nervous, ask someone to swim right next to you. In the beginning, there is no need to be extreme. Take it slowly and learn to enjoy the challenge of the open water and the collegiality of the community.

The second step depends on others. If you are a competitive pool swimmer, talk to your coach or find one online. If your age-group or college coach encourages you to try open water swims – both for fun and for competition – then you take advantage of that opportunity to expand their potential. In the open water, you can build upon your innate abilities as a pool swimmer and endurance in ways you may have not thought possible.

If you are a beginning adult swimmer, do a bit of research online and find out where others join together on weekends in the open water. Talk to a triathlete friend or join a masters swim team. Make friends with those who know the open water. Learn their lifestyle and how to be safe in the open water. The best way to discover the joys of the open water is with others of a similar mindset.

What you will find out beyond the waves is a world unlike any other.

Copyright © 2011 by Open Water Source
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