HOW TO Articles Index

This indexing is for the site’s How To and similar articles, each getting a brief description. Irregularly updated with content from the blog articles. (Latest Update: January 2016).

Swimming (General)

How To: On Beginning Swimming for Health, Swimming Improvement or Weight Management. General guiding advice for those taking up swimming.

How To understand and choose between the different types of swimming googles. No swim goggle company will tell you how to choose goggles, or explain the different types.

What is the Dunning-Kruger effect and how does it relate to pool and open water swimming?

I Touched Your Foot. A humourous article to set the mood on swimmer’s favourite subject of lane etiquette.

Are You Swimtastic? Swimming in the real world, not on the Internet.

An Orange Swimming Post For World Suicide Prevention Day.

Explorations of Mindfulness in Swimming – I – Pool T60. Exploring one benefit of swimming, from one angle..


Training (mostly pool)

HOW TO: Why you SHOULD shower before you use the pool and why you SHOULDN’T pee in the pool. Things you need to know about pool hygiene.

HOW TO: Write a basic daily swimming session. Free yourself from always  needing to find new sessions by writing your own.

HOW TO: Lane swimming etiquette. Essential conduct for all pool swimmers.

HOW TO: Swimming Notation. How to read common swimming training plan notation.

HOW TO: Discussing Zone Training. What is heart zone training and how it applies to swimming.

HOW TO: Introducing interval training to your swimming. Basics of swim training.

HOW TO Introduction to writing a basic pool swimming set. Writing a basic pool training plan for a single day.

How To: An Introduction to the Pace Clock for Beginner & Improving Swimmers. The most important toll for any swimmer.

HOW TO: Progressive Step Overload training for distance swimmers and endurance athletes. Going beyond a single session, starting to structure a cycle of training.

HOW TO: Core Exercises, Part 1. Core exercise are recommended for swimmers to assist balance and strength and endurance.

HOW TO: Core Exercises, Part 2. More core exercises.

HOW TO: One Simple Effective Core Exercise. One simple core exercise.

HOW TO: Theraband work for shoulder strengthening. Theraband work helps to prevent swimmer’s shoulder (impingement) problems.

HOW TO: Tennis Balls And Tights. A useful remediation technique for muscle knots that develop through training.

HOW TO: Stretching for swimming. Help to avoid or reduce swimming injuries. Post-swim only.

HOW TO reduce a swimmer’s use of towels. Really. Not everything has to be complicated and this will cut your water and cleaning bills.

HOW TO make your swimsuit (swimming togs) last longer. Surprisingly, not every swimmer knows this simple tip.

HOW TO tie men’s swimming briefs. Another of the simple tips.

HOW TO get water out of your ear. A very popular search item leading into this site.

How To: Swedish goggles (fit and review)

How To: Swim your first pool marathon swimming session. You are well past the basics, and want to swim a really long pool session.

Open Water

HOW TO be an open water swimmerOne of the first posts on Still relevant.

HOW TO: Building an Open Water Swimming Toolbox. A consideration of the highest level skills use by an experienced open water swimmer.

HOW TO: Open water swim tips for beginners open water swimmers and triathletes.

How To: Understand the Features and Hazards of the Different Types of Open Water Swimming Locations – I – The Ocean.

How To: Understand the Features and Hazards of the Different Types of Open Water Swimming Locations – II – Lakes and Rivers.

How To: Understand the Features and Hazards of the Different Types of Open Water Swimming Locations – III – Estuaries and Man-Made Locations Including Quarries, Reservoirs and Canals.

HOW TO: “How much do I need to swim for – x – open water distance?”. Various considerations in training for swimming a range of distances.

HOW TO: Annual advice for a Christmas or New Year’s swim in cold water for the irregular open water swimmer. An annual and very popular post. Longer than the previous post above.

HOW TO: Preparing for Cold Water. Basic cold water swimming introduction.

HOW TO: Open water breathing patterns. The sea changes every day. To be an experienced sea swimmer you need to be able to adapt your breathing.

HOW TO: Swimming in rough water. Linked to the previous article.

HOW TO: Understanding hypothermia in swimmers – Mild Hypothermia. Mild hypo is very common. How to recognise it (and not worry).

HOW TO: Understanding hypothermia in swimmers – Moderate & Severe Hypothermia. Moderate hypothermia is not moderate. Severe is life-threatening.

HOW TO: Diagnosing and addressing Moderate Hypothermia in swimmers. What to actually do about hypothermia.

HOW TO: A simple open water swimmer’s first aid & medical kit. Be prepared, accidents happen around the sea.

An Analysis of Open Water Drownings.

The Unwritten Rules of Open Water Swimming.

Cold Water Habituation. Getting used to getting into cold water.

Cold Water Acclimatization. Getting better at staying in cold water.

Cold Shock Response and the Mammalian Diving Reflex in cold water swimming – Positive & Negative Feedback systems.

11 Things To Hate About Open Water Swimming (And What To Do About Them).

How To: Be Responsible For Your Own Open Water Swimming Safety – Two Guiding Principles.

How To: What is Wind Against Sea? Explaining a common open water phenomena.

Sea Lice, Seabather’s Eruption and Swimmer’s Itch. A regular problem for lake swimmers around the world.

Beginner and Triathlete

HOW TO: Swimming for beginning open water swimmers and triathletes is like planting a tree. Twenty Common Beginner Triathlete Questions Answered(I get asked these questions regularly).

HOW TO: Improving triathlon swimming performance – Part 1. Addressing technique problems for triathletes.

HOW TO: Improving triathlon swimming performance – Part 2.Addressing technique problems for triathletes, continued.

How To: Open water swim tips for triathletes.

Marathon & Channel Swimming

The Marathon Swimmers Federation Global Marathon Swimming Rules. For voluntary use with new swims or swims not under organisational control.

HOW TO: Marathon and Channel Swimming Swimmer and Crew Checklist (updated for 2013). Occasionally updated check-list for swimmer and crew.

HOW TO: Generic marathon swim Observer’s Report. Based on the old CS&PF Observer’s sheet and therefore very well tested.

HOW TO apply lubrication for distance sea swimming. Not everyone naturally knows how to do this.

HOW TO: Sample marathon swim feed schedule (MIMS). Feed schedules are personal, but this will give you an idea if you don’t know where to start.

HOW TO: Important factors in marathon swim feeding. Other factors outside the actual schedule for long distance feeding.

HOW TO: Follow an English Channel swim online.

How To Select a Channel pilot & boat.

How To: Crew selection in marathon swimming.

Brief Lessons from Marathon Swimming.

More Brief lessons from Marathon Swimming.

Open water swimming and marathon swimming is dangerous.

A short history of English Channel Swimming [Infographic].

Celebrating the first World Marathon Swimming Day.

What is a Hype Cycle and what does it say about the state of Marathon Swimming?

How To: Escort Kayaking for Open Water and Marathon Swimming.

The Sea

Sea Lice, Seabather’s Eruption and Swimmer’s Itch. Understanding and treating the various conditions

HOW TO: Using Tide Tables. Using both on-line and printed Tide Tables for tide prediction and safety.

HOW TO: Tides for Swimmers, part 1 – Theory. It’s important that swimmers understand tidal aspects fully, especially those who live in high tidal range areas like Western Europe.

HOW TO: Tides For Swimmers, Part 2 – Local Effects. When considering tides, theory and local effects are often very different.

HOW TO: Understanding Waves, for Swimmers, Part 1. Waves, i.e. breakers are a difficulty for triathletes and new swimmers. Also important for coastal safety.

HOW TO: Understanding Waves, for Swimmers, Part 2.

HOW TO: Understanding Rough Water: Force Three. Specifics of a marginal sea condition.

HOW TO understand Sea Area Forecasts / Shipping News. Weather forecasting is a useful skill for distance swimmers.

HOW TO: Beaufort Wind Scale – An essential observational skill for the OW Swimmer. Being able to read wind conditions is essential to understanding the sea and safety.

HOW TOStudying weather on-line during a Force 10/11 blow. How to use on-line resources to track a storm and what various aspects mean.

HOW TO: Jellyfish ID charts. Particularly for swimmers in Ireland and the UK.

How To – Considering personal environmental action to protect the oceans. My attempt to integrate environmental concern and open water swimming.

Ice Mile Swimming

Ice Mile Dilemmas – I – The Trap

Ice Mile Dilemmas – II – Surprisingly Cold

Ice Mile Dilemmas – III – Black Rain

Ice Mile Dilemmas – IV – Local Context

Ice Mile Dilemmas – V – Something Terrible Is Going To Happen

Ice Mile Dilemmas – VI – Safety and Experience

Ice Mile Dilemmas – VII – Failure To Apply Best Practice

Ice Mile Dilemmas – VIII – The Dangers

Ice Mile Dilemmas – IX – Safety Is Everything.


St Patrick’s Day swimming nutrition. Not really. How to make a great Irish Coffee. How to make a really great Irish Coffee!

One thought on “HOW TO Articles Index

  1. Hey Donald,

    I was looking for some insight in terms of post-cold swimming. Somewhere (don’t really remember where) I read that it’s not good to jump straight into very hot water after a cold swim and that one should adjust the temperature in to a moderate degree so the heat builds up easy and natural. Is that actually true? I’d be super thankful if you could expand on this and possibly share a tip or two.



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