8 Tips for Open Water Swimming Newbies

Cornering Buoys

When it comes time to corner a buoy, do yourself a favor and take a wide turn. This will allow you to avoid all the pushing and shoving going on right next to the turn buoy.

Again, don't worry about the small bit of extra swimming you'll do by taking a wider turn. The energy you'll save by swimming uninterrupted will keep you feeling good and confident. Also, it ok to breast stroke around the buoy, but if you don't have to, it's better to just keep your head down and continue swimming.

Regardless of how you decide to get around the buoy, be aware of other athletes who may be breast stroking ahead of you. Due to the nature of the stroke and the way you kick, if you're not paying attention someone's leg/foot could whack you in the face.

More: 8 Ways to Handle Cold Water

Pause, Float, Breast Stroke

Finally, it's not uncommon for newer triathletes to get some anxiety or even freak out while swimming in the open water. If this happens, it's ok. The best thing to do is pause from swimming and collect yourself for a moment. Roll onto your back and float for as long as you have to and try to relax. This will help get your heart rate under control and calm you down.

Once you're ready to start moving again, start by breast stroking. Then when you're ready, put your head down and resume swimming.

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About the Author

Chris Kaplanis

Chris Kaplanis is a USAT certified coach, USA cycling coach and owner of Ridgewood Tri Athlete, a triathlon coaching and tri club in New Jersey.
Chris Kaplanis is a USAT certified coach, USA cycling coach and owner of Ridgewood Tri Athlete, a triathlon coaching and tri club in New Jersey.

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