5 tips for Open Water Swimming

The beautiful warm weather is telling of triathlon season which means many of you have been adding a weekly open water swim to your workout regime. In prospect of the upcoming Fix Splash we thought we’d offer Fix's top tips on tackling the open water...

1. Know what to expect

When training for open water swimming it's important to get comfortable swimming without the parameters of a pool for reference. Practice swimming in an expanse of water that doesn't have a bottom or visible edge and where the water is darker and deeper than the pool.

2. Rounding the buoy

Taking sharp turns round the buoys can be a challenge, make sure you practice rounding the buoys in open water before race day. There are eight at West Reservoir you need to navigate!

4. Double Sighting

There are less evident point of repair in open waters than in the pool, this means you will need to use landmarks in front of, and on either side of you to keep in course. How often you sight is an inidividual choice - too many and you're affecting your stroke, too few and you risk going off course. And make sure you sigh things that don't move!

3. Move Mindfully

Crossing the mental barrier of deep water swimming can be tough, but the trick is to keep your spine relaxed, listen to your body and do what feels right for you. To maintain form and composure it can be helpful to imagine you are swimming in a pool.

A good tip is to use the Crocodile Glide, which means letting no more than your eyes come up from the water when you look forwards. In this way, you will avoid lifting your entire head from the water and cranking the neck. It is also advisable to take a breathe to the side directly after looking to the front.

Remember, once you get near the end swim as far as you can to the shore before you get out. It’s easier to swim than to run knee deep in water!

4. Clearing your goggles

Be prepared for the worst, goggles often get foggy and this means you will need to stop and take them off. Before race day practice clearing your goggles as fast as possible by coming up and treading the water. If you can do this while swimming forward great! Otherwise, it’s best to avoid multitasking as it can stifle the mind and distract from breathing.

5. Breathing

There’s nothing like being under water to induce the desire to get as much air in your lungs as soon as possible the next time you surface. Avoid sending mind and body into overload by practice breathing calmly, this can also soothe unexpected panic or dizziness. Behave in a similar way to when you run, which means have control over the breath but let it flow and avoid holding it for extended periods of time.


The team as Fix wishes everyone competing in the Capital Tri event the best of luck! We remind everyone that all Capital Tri members get 10% discount on their first appointment and the winner of the Fix Splash will receive a voucher for a much needed free sports massage! Ready, steady, swim!


A new swim course

  • Nervous about your first open water swim?
  • Or looking to improve on your last effort?
  • Join us for an introductory course for first-time and novice open water swimmers!

Starting 23 July 2017 , Capital Tri will be coaching a 6-week open-water training course at the West Reservoir Centre, Stoke Newington. This urban oasis is a great place to dip your toe into the art of open water swimming. The sessions will be aimed at first-timers looking for an introduction to triathlon ahead of their first race or novice triathletes who are looking for some simple and easy tips on how to improve their open water swimming. These sessions will get you primed for your first race of the season.
For novice athletes, the coaches will walk you through the basic skills required in in open water swimming, such as cold-water acclimatisation, sighting/navigation, breathing techniques, turning and drafting to give you the knowledge and confidence to enjoy your race.
Week 1 (23 July): Introduction to Open water swimming, acclimatisation and breathing
Week 2 (30 July): Sighting/navigation
Week 3 (6 August): Sighting/navigation & turning
Week 4 (13 August): Drafting on the side
Week 5 (20 August): Drafting behind
Week 6 (27 August): Race preparation


Sunday, 8:30am
West Reservoir Centre, Stoke Newington, Green Lanes, London N4 2HA
- a wet suit
- a bright coloured swim hat
- goggles (preferably two pairs in case one breaks)
- water bottle
- a towel (the centre has AMAZING hot showers)
Capital Tri and Triathlon England have teamed up to provide you with a special introductory rate - you can sign up for all six weeks for just £26, saving yourself £34 on weekly bookings.