Swimming out

Swimming for beginning open water swimmers and triathletes is like planting a tree. Twenty common beginner triathlete questions answered.

Swimming is very much like the old saying about planting trees.The very best time to start was ten years ago. The second best time to start was yesterday. The next best time is today. I myself did not start ten years ago but I did incrementally improve my skills and technique and open water experience and achievements.…

Brief lessons from marathon swimming – I – Never eat a curry the night before a long swim

There’s a discussion thread on the marathonswimmers.org forum called Tips and Tricks and I’ve been writing my How To articles for a few years. But here’s a list of brief random items I’ve learned that I threw together, which  individually are too short for articles (right now anyway, who knows what’ll be possible mid-winter when…

Cold Water Acclimatization

This post was a companion to HABITUATION, both of which I wrote in early 2010. Since I revisited and largely rewrote that as Cold Water Habituation, my plan was to do the same in this post also. Acclimatization (acclimatisation for those of us who forego the use of the z)  is a different factor to habituation. While…

Cold Water Habituation

HABITUATION was one of my very first posts, and the first post I wrote about cold and cold water swimming, over four years ago, little realising it would become my favourite subject. Although it is linked in the Cold Water Articles Index, I decided to air it out and rewrite it. (And change those capitals).…

How To: Write a basic pool swimming set

Many swimmers are often confused about how to write a basic pool set. Many experienced but younger swimmers from a club background had become accustomed to having a coach always provide their sets, without ever needing to understand for themselves what the coach is trying to achieve or why a particular set is used on a particular…

How To Select a Channel pilot & boat

This time of year I get more emails and PM’s asking about English Channel pilots, tides, Associations, Channel costs etc and all the related stuff. During a recent weathered-out trip to Dover in September for Sylvain Estadieu’s English Channel butterfly swim, which included yet another a trip out into the Channel, a tour of a…

How To: Swedish goggles (fit and review)

I’ve written a couple of previous annual posts reviewing various goggles, (one, two) that I’ve used, of which it seems there have been quite a few. (There are few greater swimming pleasures than wearing brand new goggles!) I am a relatively recent user to Swedish googles (aka Swedes), I’ve been wearing them for less than…

HOW TO Articles Index

During the summer of 2013 I indexed all the cold and cold water swimming How Tos for your easy perusal. This time I am indexing the HowTo articles, each again getting a brief description. HOWTO be an open water swimmer… One of the first posts on loneswimmer.com HOWTO: Open water swim tips for beginners open water swimmers…

How To: Open water swim tips for triathletes

This follows up Part 1 and Part 2 of common triathlon swimming techniques and remedies, and Evan’s tips on the best use of a public pool for training and a simple effective front crawl stroke tip. I’ve written various How To’s about different aspects of open water swimming in detail. This post is intended to…

How To: Improving triathlon swimming performance – Part 2

Following on from Part 1; Scissors-kick This is common and may be partially caused by increased thigh strength built up by running and cycling training. The legs kick wide, passing outside the silhouette of the body as seen from the front and adds very significant drag. In an elite sprint swimmer the kick only provides 15% of…

How To: Improving triathlon swimming performance – Part 1

This post is one of a combined series of triathlon swim articles with Evan Morrison. Evan is a top American open water and marathon swimmer who holds several long distance records including Santa Barbara and the Ederle marathon swims.  His article considers some common mistakes people make while pool swim training (not technique errors) and how to improve.…

How To: Using Tide Tables

Because I live and swim in Ireland, I am constantly made aware of the large tidal range here. I’ve written extensively about tides previously because I feel they are an aspect of open water swimming not appreciated by enough swimmers and because global variations can mean that many people never see nor even realise the…

How To: Open water breathing patterns

The variety and utility of different breathing patterns for open water swimming is a subject of different concerns to pool swimming, as with so much of our side of the swimming sport. I once read an US coach who said about breathing patterns; “if they gave medals for bilateral breathing, I’d coach bilateral breathing“. I…