Swimming Lesson 2: Swimming in Open Water

open water swimmers at luray triathlon
school of tri and endurance sports

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Tips for Swimming in Open Water

“When I swim, I don’t feel old, I feel eternal.” — Diana Nyad, Swam from Cuba to Key West at age 64

Take away the walls, the clear water, the lane lines and the black lanes on the bottom and you have open water swimming. Open water swimming can be daunting with deep, dark water and the shoreline far away.

This series of video begins with tips for open water swimming then demonstrates sighting drills that you can practice in the pool then a demonstration of sighting in open water.

Video 1: Tips for Overcoming Fear in an Open Water Swim


Open water swim coach Margaret “Mei Mei” Connor has the goal to have you love the water as much as she does. In this first video, Mei Mei shares tips for swimming comfortably in open water.

Video 2: How to Practice Sighting a Buoy in the Pool


If you can sight well in open water, you’ll swim the shortest distance between the buoys and have faster swim times. The easiest place to practice sighting is in the pool. Doug Alban, ASCA and Kyle Williams share some drills that you can do to practice your sighting in the pool.

Video 3: How to Sight During an Open Water Swim


David Glover demonstrates and provides tips for sighting in open water.

Video 4: Navigating an Open Water Swim


Mei Mei Connor of Open Water Works navigates you through your open water swim from start to finish with tips for sighting buoys, turning and exiting the water.

Video 5: How to Exit the Water After an Open Water Swim


In this video, David Glover, MS, CSCS demonstrates exiting from the water. The key point is to wait until your fingertips brush the bottom before you stand up.

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