Pool swimming is great. Learning and training in the pool gives you the opportunity to go slow and do drills to work on your technique, build your swim fitness but with the safety net of always being able to stop at the other end if you need to. But we have to admit, pool swimming can get a bit boring - especially if you’re a solo swimmer. Ocean swimming on the other hand, is anything but boring. Swimming in the ocean has a multitude of benefits - you are swimming in nature rather than a calm & controlled environment. The changing nature of the ocean means no two swims are the same and makes for an exciting and exhilarating experience.
So how do you know if you are ready to make the leap from pool to ocean? We know that the ocean can seem a scary place however we want to make the transition as easy as possible for you, which is why we have broken down below our top transition tips.
Endurance - In the ocean there is no wall to hold onto to get your breath back or to use to push off at the start of each lap. Swim endurance is super important to ensure both your safety and confidence in the ocean. Therefore we recommend you should aim to complete at least a 30 minute session without stopping before making the plunge into ocean swimming.
Ocean Skills - The ocean is a completely different environment and therefore requires some techniques which are not required in the pool such as sighting. Sighting is where you check where you are going every couple of strokes. Sighting can be practised in the pool, try and lift your eyes just above the water surface to look forward but not lift up too much that you disrupt your stroke. We also recommend breathing every two strokes but practise breathing to both sides. When out in the ocean it is helpful to be able to breathe both sides in case you tire but also if you are following a course as well as to watch out for different surf conditions or water users.
Swimming Gear - If you are not used to swimming in unheated water for prolonged periods it can be a bit of a shock. One way to ease yourself in is to wearing wetsuit. Wetsuits not only help you keep warm, they also increase your buoyancy which makes you swim faster - win-win! Swim caps also help to keep you warm and good goggles are of course a must. Now you’ve got all the gear and some idea of what you’re doing there is no excuse not to get started straight away!
If you need some more help making the transition from the pool to the ocean, contact us and we can work out the best plan of action for you.