How To: “How much do I need to swim for – x – open water distance?”

With the Northern hemisphere open water season getting underway, and temperatures in many locations edging around the magic number, (10C/50F) , open water related questions inevitably arise as each year brings new swimmers and more triathletes. A common question is some variation of: I want to swim 1.5k/3k/3k/10k, can I do it or what should…

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: Understanding hypothermia in swimmers – Moderate & Severe Hypothermia

Previous article: Understanding hypothermia in swimmers: Mild hypothermia. Moderate hypothermia is obviously more serious than Mild hypothermia which I covered previously in the first part of this series. I’m always a bit bemused by the medical terminology of hypothermia. Many serious open water swimmers will have experienced moderate┬áhypothermia and can tell you there’s nothing┬ámoderate┬áabout it.…

How To: Swimming in rough water

When talking to different open water swimmers one often find┬áthat they may highlight different skills and areas on which they believe it’s important to focus. Since I’ve written a lot about cold, it’s a safe assumption (and correct) that subject is one of mine. But there’s another I don’t write about enough, parly because it’s…

How To: Theraband work for shoulder strengthening

I’ve been picking up pain in my left shoulder for the past couple of weeks again, so I’ve just started doing a little Theraband work, good old swimmer’s shoulder. Therabands are just large elastic (latex) bands, categorised according to resistance/strength, which can be used to isolate and work specific muscles. The colour indicates the amount…

How To: Reduce a swimmer’s use of towels

You know, right? All those towels ready for wash, in the wash, drying, hanging up? I thought I’d sort it for you so I wrote this flowchart. On a completely separate note, many of you will know USA swimmer and idol Janet Evans qualified for the 400 & 800 metres in this year’s summer Olympics,…

How To: Do Simple Stretching for Swimming

Swimmers train a lot. A lot of time is spent in the water. One consequence is tight muscles. Another problem for some is insufficient flexibility for swimming, like ankles and legs. Apart from the essentials of regular massage, and probably direct icing, stretching becomes necessary if not essential. Each of us will probably have some…

Asthma and marathon swimming – Part 1

This post and the subsequent Part Two post should not be construed as medical advice. This is another example of how I deal with something related to swimming, in which I have made mistakes and learned and adapted and which may be instructive or useful as advice or warning. Throughout the two articles I will…

How To: Make swimming costumes/swimsuits last longer

Courtesy of another question. Though as Julie Galloway pointed out in her interview yesterday on Daily news of Open Water Source, we (Irish) call them togs not costume or swimsuit. And we never knew we were different! This applies mainly to chlorine, which eats the nylon/lycra mix. We’ve all been there. One day you are…

How To: Tie men’s swimming togs

You are thinking this has to my most inane post ever. You may be right, though I believe it is possible for me to be more inane. But bear with me … How do you tie your togs? Granny knot or bow? Well that’s fine. Usually But there are times when neither of those will…

Is the water too cold to swim?

This article is, once again, a variation of the most popular question here: “What temperature of water is too cold to swim in”?, which I’ve written about before. The temperature at the Guillamene last Sunday week (October 16th, 2011) was about 13┬░ Celsius (55┬░ F). That’s far warmer than what most people will imagine, not…

How To: Get water from swimming out of your ears

We’ve all had this problem. You try to stick your towel in there. You stake your head and bang it to the side. For hours. But there’s a simple solution: Hop up and down on one leg, the leg on the same side at which the water is in your ear. The water will simply…

How To: Pressure (synoptic) weather charts explored

Following on from the discussion on hectopascals and atmospheric pressure: Let’s use the same chart again. This time you know what the numbers mean, various high and low pressure areas. But there are different kinds of lines to be seen also. In this chart we are concerned with five types light black line with numbers…