Open water swimming is an exhilarating sport that offers a unique connection with nature, and a sense of freedom unlike any other. It is a totally different experience than swimming laps in a pool!

Whether you’re a seasoned athlete, or a beginner dipping your toes into the open water for the first time, you can always improve your technique to make open water swimming more enjoyable.

In this video, special guests Chris Bryan and Cristian Ciccioli from Swim Tribe Dubai dive into the five biggest mistakes people make in open water swimming and how to avoid them.

5 Mistakes To Avoid In Open Water Swimming

1. Neglecting the Catch

One of the fundamental aspects of swimming efficiently in open water is mastering the catch—the start of the stroke.

Many swimmers focus on generating power once their hand enters the water, but fail to realize the importance of applying pressure straight down at the beginning of the stroke. This leads to increased resistance and a tendency to sink.

To improve, focus on maintaining a strong catch position to propel yourself forward effectively.

2. Improper Breathing Technique

Breathing and spotting in open water can be challenging, especially when waves and currents come into play. Avoid the mistake of lifting your head too high when sighting, as this can disrupt your body position and cause unnecessary drag.

Instead, practice sighting without lifting your head excessively, keeping your eyes above the waterline while maintaining a streamlined position.

Related: How To Swim In Open Water Without Getting Exhausted

3. Comparing Pool and Open Water Times

It’s common for swimmers, particularly triathletes, to compare their performance times between pool and open water sessions.

However, this can be misleading due to the differences in environment and conditions. Wind, choppy waves, and currents all impact your stroke. Every open water swim can be different, due to the changing conditions! Plus, open water swimming lacks the walls and consistent conditions of a pool, making your swimming inherently slower.

Instead of fixating on time comparisons, focus on your own progress. Or, if you like to get competitive, aim to “race” with a friend that you’re swimming with!

When you go for an open water swim, we always recommend tracking it with the MySwimPro app on your Apple Watch or Garmin smartwatch. This way you’ll be able to see your heart rate in real-time, your distance, and even see a cool map of your route.

Download the MySwimPro app on iOS or Android to start tracking your open water swims.

Plus, you can follow Personalized AI Swim Workouts and Training Plans that are built for the pool, but are meant to prepare you for an open water race, triathlon, or even a charity swim.

Click here to start your free trial of MySwimPro Coach >

4. Swimming Alone

Open water swimming can be a solitary activity, but venturing out alone without proper preparation and knowledge of the area can be risky.

Always swim with a buddy or join a group led by experienced swimmers who know the location well. Having a support system ensures safety, and adds an element of camaraderie to your swimming experience.

Related: How Chris Trains For Epic Open Water Races With MySwimPro

5. Failing to Draft

Drafting, or swimming closely behind another swimmer to reduce drag, is a valuable technique often overlooked by beginners. Swimming in a pack can significantly save your energy, and improve overall performance. Don’t make the mistake of avoiding the pack out of pride or overconfidence.

Embrace the opportunity to draft and learn from more experienced swimmers during group swims.

In conclusion, open water swimming offers a myriad of challenges and rewards for those willing to take the plunge.

By avoiding these common mistakes and focusing on proper technique, safety, and continuous improvement, you can enhance your open water swimming experience and achieve your goals with confidence.

So, next time you’re gearing up for an open water swim, remember these tips and make the most of your swimming journey!

Leave A Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.