What Kind of Swimmer Are You?

What Kind of Swimmer Are You?

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

People of all ages, abilities and backgrounds participate in open water swimming for many reasons. You swim because it might be a hot summer day…or you want to become more fit or tone…or you are a competitive swimmer…or you are a lifeguard or a triathlete. No matter if you are a hard-core marathon swimming traditionalist or a beginner triathlete, find out what kind of swimmer you are.

1. What kind of swimmer are you?

1) What’s your pre-swim routine?
A) Grab anything chocolate and eat it in the car heading to the pool
B) Sleep
C) Drink a protein shake while updating Facebook
D) Pack your swim bag with the latest FINIS gear
E) Follow Peter Attia and go on a ketogenic diet

2. What do you typically wear?

A) College team gear
B) Neoprene all the way
C) Swimsuits from the cheap bin
D) Solid-colored swimsuits
E) The latest, most colorful and trendiest swimsuits out there

3. Who do you swim with?

A) Whoever shows up
B) Same training buddy or lane mate
C) Go solo
D) Seriously minded masters swim team friends
E) Hard-core age-group competitive swim team

4. Where do you swim?

A) Anywhere as long as I get the yards in
B) Community pool
C) Oceans or lakes
D) Endless Pools
E) 50-meter pool with digital clocks

5. What happens if you miss a workout?

A) No sweat. Have 4-5 excuses to use at a moment’s notice.
B) Can deal with it; figure it wasn’t meant to be.
C) May try to squeeze in an extra workout or extra yards on the weekend to make up
D) Messed up. Need the workout to feel normal, and will be unbearable until you fill this need.
E) Panicked, but have contingency plans: do an alternate lunchtime/nighttime workout or use the emergency swimsuit at work

6. When have you had Swimmer’s Ear or Swimmer’s Shoulder?

A) Huh, what?!?
B) Not now and not likely in the future
C) A guy on my team had it once
D) Occasionally when I go overboard
E) When have I not had one or the other?

7. What do you eat or drink after a swim?

A) Whatever is closest, in my bag or in the car
B) Anything chocolate
C) A huge meal
D) Recovery drink or energy bar
E) Organic green smoothie with alfalfa sprouts and supplements

8. What kind of open water conditions do you feel most comfortable in?

A) Pools with double lane lines and no splashing
B) A tranquil lake on a calm morning
C) Turbulence is part of the game
D) Whitecaps and currents are cool
E) Crashing surf and huge ocean swells

9. What kind of water temperatures can you handle?

A) A Jacuzzi or therapy pools are best
B) Anything above 68°F (20°C) is enjoyable
C) It’s borderline at 60°F (16°C)
D) Sub-50°F (10°C) is refreshing
E) Extreme ice swimming (sub 41°F or 5°C)

10. How many meters do you swim per workout?

A) I don’t count and I don’t care
B) I swim by time
C) 1,000 – 3,000 meters
D) 3,000 – 5,000 meters
E) Minimum 5,000 two times per day, long course meters

Count up your total points:
• A = 1 point
• B = 2 points
• C = 3 points
• D = 4 points
• E = 5 points

Your points give you a hint as to what type of swimmer you are:

Swimmer Types
• 5 to 10 points: Fitness Athlete
• 11 to 15 points: Seasonal Swimmer
• 16 to 25 points: Lifer
• 36 to 45 points: Hard-core Competitive Swimmer
• 46 to 50 points: Marine Mammal

Fitness Athlete
Being a working parent trying to stay fit with a healthy lifestyle takes time and commitment that you do not always have. With a family and full-time job, everybody wants a piece of you: your boss, your kids, your spouse. Between the home and work, there is little down time. Swimming allows you to mellow out and shake off some stress. You use the pool to talk it up with anyone who will listen, is attractive or tells great stories.
Characteristic Swim: Swim Miami

Seasonal Swimmer
You try eating a good diet and try getting in exercise to lead a healthy life. You didn’t swim competitively as a kid, but you always enjoy the open water and outdoors. You love the buoyancy of the water and the opportunity to swim back and forth in aquatic meditation. You enjoy swimming with friends, but you also swim by yourself when necessary. But sometimes you lay out under the warm sun instead of putting in the yards.
Characteristic Swim: Waikiki Roughwater Swim

You have enjoyed swimming all your life. You eat right and enjoy the rivalry between Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte and the differences between the English and Catalina Channels. You dream about swimming under perfect conditions. You regularly put in killer sets (100 x 100) to test yourself. You stretch and do core work on weekends and at the office and always have goggles and swimsuit with you at all times, just in case.
Characteristic Swim: Big Shoulders

Hard-core Competitive Swimmer
You live and breathe swimming. You don’t care where you swim as long as you get in a long warm-up before a hard main set. You never travel without your fins, snorkel and paddles. You’re always looking for the next swim meet or open water swim. You’re always checking your competitors on Facebook and tweet your workouts. You know what taper works for you and your optimal tempo for a 100 or a mile. Doubles are a joy.
Characteristic Swim: Great Chesapeake Bay Swim

Marine Mammal
Your trunk includes a mini digital clock just in case the pool’s pace clock goes down. Your swim buddy is #1 on your speed dial, followed by your coach. You can recite the split times of every race from the last Olympics and the English Channel tide charts. Your friends have damaged hair and monitor your mileage online. Doubles are a given and you have kick boards older than your dog.
Characteristic Swim: RCP Tiburon Mile

Or you can take the Personality Quiz for Open Water Swimmers. It is a Facebook quiz here.

The sport of open water swimming attracts people of all ages, abilities, backgrounds and cultures.

Perhaps because the sport holds its competitions in oceans, lakes, rivers, bays, canals, channels, and reservoirs, each with its own characteristics and conditions, open water swimmers are most definitely not one size fits all.

Swimmers come in different sizes and shapes and span the range of personalities. Some swimmers are bubbly and fun-loving; others are serious and academic; others are carefree and spontaneous; while some prefer to be introverted or extroverted depending on the situation.

Which general personality characterizes you? Take this quick test to find out.

There are four final possibilities in this game:

1. Bubbly and fun-loving – You love life, especially open water swimming and your open water swimming friends. You absolutely enjoy the allure of the open water, but also most other challenges, people and encounters in your life. You have a smile on your face before, during and after your open water swims and are always open to heading to new shores with both close and new friends.

2. Introvert-extrovert hybrid – You are very serious about your sport, but you also like to have a lot of fun doing it. You enjoy training with other similarly focused teammates, but the laughter, jokes and smiles are also equally important. You always monitor your workout times, training distances and intervals, but you enjoy a good meal and engaging conversation with friends even more.

3. Serious and academic – You appreciate success and respect the planning and hard work that leads to it. You enjoy the technical aspects of open water swimming, especially preparing the logistical, operational and navigational aspects of your swims. You can analyze your talents and strengths well, and are motivated to correct your weaknesses.

4. Carefree and spontaneous – You take life as it comes as well as the dynamic nature of the marine environment. You enjoy going to new locations and swimming in different kinds of conditions and with anyone who is willing to join you. You appreciate all kinds of situations and people, and can adapt well to circumstances both in and out of the water.

Copyright © 2016 by World Open Water Swimming Association
Steven Munatones