Open Water Season Tips

Some practical videos for donning the rubber and some important advice from Head Coach Dave Brayer.

Dave and some of the experienced swimmers and coaches will be on hand for advice at both Repton pool and at Hall Croft Farm OW venue when the season begins. Don’t feel you need to take the plunge on week 1 if you are new to OW……but do come and talk to us and if you’re ready, we are there to support.

Don’t forget your disclaimers and emergency contact details and keep an eye on facebook or emails to confirm temperatures are high enough to open as planned (link to OW page)

Here are some helpful tips to make the experience a better one from head Coach Dave Brayer.

It sound obvious but needs to be said – the water early season is cold and feels colder as we are used to warm water pool swimming. It will take a number of visits to LP to start to get acclimatised to OW swimming again.
We have added more OW swim drills into the pool swim sessions, to help you get ready – e.g. sighting, swimming in small groups, drafting, these help start the process – sighting is very important while swimming ow you will swim slower to start but as you practice you will improve and get quicker plus swim a much shorter distance.

Experienced ow swimmers / coaches will be at LP to help you – we also have those willing to buddy up with novices or those new to ow swimming or if you’ve just starting back ow for this season.

If you have any questions or queries please ask myself or one of the swim coaches.

Top Cold Water Swim Tips

1. Wetsuit prep – get your wetsuit out, clean and check for holes and that the zips are all working smoothly, repair holes (black witch neoprene glue) Put it on to make sure it fits OK – its likely to have shrunk slightly over the winter so might feel tight. Watch the you tube videos on how to put a wet suit on.


2. Wear a neoprene hat along with one or two silicon swim caps to keep your head warm. Consider earplugs (I wear the safety type earplugs) It helps reduce any cold water in the ears.

3. It can be worth considering gloves and booties. If they help you initially ok but they will impact on your stroke technique. Plus I find the gloves get quite heavy.

4. Do a dry land warm up. This will get the blood flowing and muscles warmed up, and help to stop you from tensing up too much when you enter the cold water.

5. Don’t hang about before getting into the water. Walk in to avoid a sudden shock of cold. Jumping or diving in is not recommended. Get the feet used to the cold water then move down to get the back zip under water. Let cold water into your suit and keep moving around. Crouch to allow more water into the suit then when ready allow a little water into the neck line of the suit.

6. Big one – splash your face with the cold water – this will start to accustom your face and breathing to the cold conditions – it must be your face, a little around the neck also helps. Your breathing will quicken and heart rate rise, keep moving, relax with slow deep breaths (think about breathing out) and splash your face again.

7. Look to see where your heading to 1st and consider a place to stop and look about but keep your arms and legs moving – relaxed breathing.

8. Once in try to relax and get on with your swim. Don’t hang around getting cold, keep moving and don’t stop to chat. Do this post-swim.

9. Remember you will feel cold (ice cream head). This is normal and your body will adjust and get used to the cold after a few minutes. It does get better after a few minutes of swimming. If it doesn’t and you continue to feel cold then get out of the water and try again next visit.

10. During the swim you will find your fingers and feet get cold and they struggle to work as well – this is normal but always swim within your current open water capabilities in cold – this will be significantly less than pool swimming. 1 lap of LP is 500m consider cutting the 1st lap short to half a lap, head back to the exit half way round – keep an eye out for swimmers from your right as you approach the start point as they will be on a full lap.

11. Exit the water if you start to feel too cold, its better to get out early rather than get too cold.

12. When you’ve finished swimming, exit the water swiftly and change quickly to start the warm-up process as soon as possible. Have lots of warm clothes and a hat prepared beforehand. Dryrobe make a warm zip up hooded jacket that’s easy to change in and will keep you warm post-swim.

13. Enjoy a well-earned cup of coffee, tea or hot chocolate 