Following on from last weeks blog, I thought I’d share a few thoughts on kit/equipment needed for swimming, along with my key tips for acclimatisation into Open Water.
- Arrive in good time, assess the weather conditions (flow of water, rain, wind etc.), ensure your wetsuit is fitted correctly – not forgetting to zip it all the way up!
- Gradually lower yourself into the water to wading depth – allowing your lower body to adjust to temperature change, gradually lower stomach/chest into water trying to control breathing as best as possible. When ready – put face into water before removing it and repeating until this is comfortable. Lower head until submerged, repeat! At this point, don’t try to swim, it’s all about feeling comfortable.
- Dress to the conditions, even in the height of summer I’d still recommend taking a full kit bag just in case the temperature changes – this would include: neoprene hat, extra swim hats, booties and gloves. If available some people chose to wear tri-suits underneath wetsuits to maintain body temperature. Goggle choice is always a good discussion – we will look at this in further posts!
- If available check water temperature (some venues have thermometer readings)
- Make sure you have an emergency point of contact / swim buddy! Your safety is absolutely paramount. Swim buoys are a good visual aid in the water, they are NOT a safety device. Know your limits.
When going to any Open Water venue, no matter how many times I have been there I always ensure I take a lot of kit – here’s my list of essential kit!
- Wetsuit (properly fitting)
- Neoprene Hats – keeps the head toasty warm!
- Silicone / latex swim hats – brightly coloured to be easily seen in the water for safety
- Neoprene swim socks / booties – especially in winter these are great for keeping feet warm.
- Neoprene gloves – cold weather can really affect your fingers!
- Swim buoy – can be used as a visual aid in the water to be easily spotted or to carry essential medical / food supplies.
- Water bottles / energy gels.
I will be looking at swim buoys in greater detail in a few weeks, keep posted for updates.
Let me know how you got on and If you need help with water acclimatisation! I am running a couple of sessions during the week in the north east. Send me a message to find out more!
Come on, TriOpenWater! You know you want to.
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