How to Become a Faster Open Water Swimmer

open water swimming

So many of us get nervous going into the open water after being in the pool for several months prior.  I think the key to overcoming that fear is to just take it one stroke at a time. Start by wading in slowly and gradually, then get used to the temperature of the water before you start swimming. Once you’re comfortable, focus on your technique, and don’t let anything else distract you. With patience, practice, and dedication you can eventually overcome your fear. So don’t be afraid to get in the open water and give it a go! You got this!

Here are some tips:

  • One of the biggest differences between pool and open-water swimming is visibility. In a pool, you can clearly see the bottom and both sides


  • Develop a strong swim technique through regular pool training and drills.


  • Improve your body positioning by keeping your head down, rotating your torso, and maintaining a stable core.


  • Use open water-specific swim skills such as sighting, drafting, and navigating waves and currents.


  • Incorporate open water-specific training into your routine, such as swim-run sessions and open water swims.


  • Work on your endurance and stamina through longer swims and cross-training activities such as running and cycling.


  • Use swim aids like wetsuits, swim buoys, and paddles to help improve your swim speed and efficiency.


  • Stay hydrated and nourished, especially during longer swims.


  • Improve your mental toughness by practicing visualization techniques and focusing on your goals.


  • Stay calm and focused, especially in choppy water or when navigating a crowded swim start.


  • Participate in open-water swim events and races to gain experience and build confidence in open-water swimming.