Swimming in open water, as the name implies, is an outdoor sport. Mountain lake, sea or river, open water offers a diversity that can not be found in the pool. This discipline can, therefore, become an ideal practice for anyone who wants to break the monotony of pool training.
1. Open Water Swimming: A Sport with Sensations
It is a discipline that is practiced in a natural environment and that usually consists of traveling long distances ranging from one to several tens of kilometers. It has become an Olympic discipline since the 2008 Olympics. But the only event to have integrated the Olympic program is the 10 km.
As you can see, open water requires endurance, but also tactics. Indeed, it is important to know how to manage your effort not to crack from the first meters. It should also be noted that the support in the water is not the same as in the pool and the absence of a turn makes the exercise more difficult since no respite is possible in natural waters.
In addition to race management, wind, cold, waves and current are important factors to consider. The weather plays a decisive role in the way of approaching his session or competition.
2. Multiple Benefits
Swimming is a complete sport that brings benefits to the body, morale and overall health. This is even truer in outdoor swimming.
Indeed, cold water contributes to the activation of the blood circulation and strengthens the immune system. Because of its temperature, it can also have an anesthetic effect to relieve pain.
When swimming is at sea, the benefits are even greater. Seawater is known for its antidepressant, anxiolytic and euphoric properties. On the other hand, salt water helps to decongest the airways. Moreover, according to many studies, sea bathers would be in a better mood than other respondents.
Finally, swimming in open water allows the body to work more muscle groups than pool because of currents, the search for support and the need to raise the head to breathe (neck, psoas, lumbar).
3. Safety As Priority
In spite of all the benefits that outdoor swimming can bring, it is important to take some precautions before diving your first head into natural waters.
Even if you want to practice in tranquility, prefer the monitored water points and go swimming only when the water is calm. Watch out for bad weather!
Cold water is a strong aggression for the body. You can run cardiovascular risks and enter hypothermia if you enter the water too quickly and without thinking.
Do not hesitate to define a distance between two points that will serve as a limit, and swim along the bank, never to the sea.
Avoid hours when the sun is hot and use sunscreen. Also, watch out for dehydration and cramps.
4. Open Water Equipment
Just like for indoor swimming, open water is affordable for everyone. The equipment, therefore, remains very much the same as in the pool.
Therefore, the swimsuit, swimming goggles, and swim cap will be required.
It can also be useful to smear milking grease to prevent possible sun irritation and to protect against the cold.
The neoprene suit may be considered to be a thermal barrier to the cold, but will only be allowed in training and in no case in competition. This is also true, of course, for flippers and pads that are part of the training equipment.
Advantages, safety, equipment. You are now ready to brave the elements!
Let's head to the pool to begin training for Open Water Competitions. Swimming in the pool will give you the confidence to start your open water sessions and you will also know the necessary techniques that will be vital for your sessions outdoor.