Stuart recently took part in a training session at the National Swim Academy. Here’s his report:
Open Water Swim Training
National Swim Academy, Stirling University, 31 May 2015
The Intermediate Open-Water Swim Training held on the 31st May 2015 by Scottish Swimming was a good bite-size session which gave instruction and practice of a few good techniques for both understanding the difference between pool-swimming and open-water-swimming – such important differences which regular pool swimmers may not naturally think to consider, yet make a massive difference.
A technique such as sighting – literally, looking where you are going – is so common that it normally comes naturally to us all. In a swimming pool straight-line swimming is aided by the pool lanes, tiles, pool-edge, lighting, ceiling beams etc. but open-water doesn’t have any of these helpful markings. Being able to repeatedly look where you are going takes not only the knowledge that you have to check, but a simple (when practiced) new swim technique in order to be able to do so without breaking your stroke, and therefore keeping up momentum and rhythm.
Other techniques such as drafting other swimmers (literally swimming close behind them) to benefit from lessened water resistance and thus improved stroke efficiency (less effort), also help make swimming (in pool or loch) physically easier.
In the end, anything which helps swimmers improve their open water swimming ability is only going to make the prospect of entering freezing cold water far less daunting, and possibly more enjoyable.
Stuart Campbell, Mid Argyll Wild Swimmers
Scottish Swimming has a programme of other adult coached sessions coming up for people who would like to get involved in swimming.
The swim series includes three open water events over the summer:
- Saturday 6th June at the Helix Lagoon, Falkirk,
- Saturday 11th July at Knockburn Sports Loch near Banchory
- Sunday 23rd August at Loch Lomond
Local, weekly coached sessions are available and listed on the website: www.scottishswimming.com