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Open Water 101

Stroke Technique For swimming In the Wild

  • Be adaptable. Swimming in the open water is not the same as in the pool. You may not be used to other swimmers being so close, swimming in a wetsuit, or the turbulent side to side of the water. Experiment. Do what works best for you.

  • Try using a wider, straight arm recovery. It allows for a smoother catch in choppy water, plus it has the added benefit of helping you avoid other swimmers.

  • Work on breathing more efficiently. Empty you lungs by exhaling into the water before rotating your head. Nearly every aspect of swimming is connected to your core- breathing is no different! Tighten your core when taking a breath. It will help you swim straighter, improve body alignment, and help keep your legs from bowing when taking a breath.

  • Bi-lateral breathing is a must in open water. It balances your stroke. Teaches you to control your breathing. Helps you swim straighter. Gives you better side to side roll.

  • Increase your kick to counteract the open water conditions. Try kicking harder as you head into shore, using the waves to garner momentum.

  • Work on looking ahead in or above the water for markers to follow. You can work on this in the pool using river-stroke to help you transition swimming above and below water.

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