Tips for swimming in the open water

As a triathlete you will often find yourself swimming in something other than a pool.  Living in the Okanagan that usually means swimming in the Okanagan Lake. This is called “open water” swimming, and it has own unique challenges.

  1. Open Water Sighting

Since the lake doesn’t have lines on the bottom to follow you’ll have to learn how to “sight” so you can swim in a straight line, which is always shorter and faster than swimming in a crooked line. Sighting simply means that you pick a large object in the distance to swim towards that is in-line with the direction you wish to swim. Every few breathes you can lift your head and see if you are still swimming in the correct direction.

See video:

2.  Lots of swimmers

At the start of the swim it can be pretty crowded and this can be a new experience for many. If you are new to swimming you might want to start at the back of the group until you feel comfortable. If you are planning on being closer to the front consider having part of your swim cap over your googles so that they don’t accidently get knocked off.

3.  Bright sun

Consider having googles with dark lens so that the sun doesn’t blind you when swimming when it’s bright out. Clear googles are better on overcast days.